Gear

972 posts in this category.
First ride: 2011 Specialized Epic Expert Carbon EVO R

Review: Commencal Surpreme and Surpreme DH

Review: Commencal Surpreme and Surpreme DH

By Justin Steiner

Commencal may be a new name to some readers, but company founder and namesake Max Commencal has been around the bike business for quite some time. He combined an architectural background, a passion for motorcycles and a love of BMX to form Sunn Bicycles in 1982. Sunn later branched out into mountain bikes with great success in the World Cup circuit under Nicolas Vouilloz.


Review: Trek Scratch 9

Review: Trek Scratch 9

Words and photos by Justin Steiner


First Impressions: Scott Scale 29 Pro

NiteRider PRO 600

NiteRider PRO 600

By Eric McKeegan


First impressions: Niner Air 9 Carbon

Follow up: Specialized Epic EVO R

In for review: Yeti 575

In for review: Yeti 575

 

Allow me to introduce Yeti’s redesigned-for-2011 575. I’ve had the pleasure of riding this 146mm-travel beauty for the last couple of months, and I’m happy to say it’s a mighty fun bike. Yeti did a ton of work revising the 575 for this year, so I’ll let the video at the end of this post fill you in on the details.


Review: Orbea Rallon 30

Review: Orbea Rallon 30

By Justin Steiner

Orbea started from humble beginnings in 1847 as a family-owed gun manufacturer. From there, the company evolved into producing bicycles by 1930, and transitioned to a worker-owed cooperative in 1965. In 1998, Orbea began a major initiative to internationalize and push their presence throughout the globe.


First Impression: BH RX1

First Impression: BH RX1

By Josh Patterson

Cyclocross season is in full swing!

In fact, Cyclocross Nationals kicks off today in Bend, Oregon. Like most people who race ‘cross, I can be pretty fanatical about it. Our Web Editor, Adam Newman joins me in this obsession. I’m not sure what it is about racing bikes with skinny tires in bad weather that make this sport fun, but there’s something special about cyclocross.


First Impression: Intense Tracer 29

First Impression: Intense Tracer 29

Intense and Dirt Rag have both been around for more than 20 years. We’ve somehow never tested an Intense. That is a problem, and I’m correcting it as you read.

Yessir, a Tracer 29, 140mm of VPP travel, made in the USA, already muddy.

That is a straight 1.5 head tube, with a Cane Creek tapered headset.

SRAM dispatched a full XO group, this is the 26-39 crankset.


First Impression: Diamondback Sortie 3

First Impression: Diamondback Sortie 3

By Adam Lipinski

I’m glad to report that the Diamonback Sortie 3 is not the department store bike so many people perceived it would be. I’d be pretty shocked if a company tried to pan off department store bikes for $2749.95.


First Impression: Raleigh Talus Sport 29

First Impression: Raleigh Talus Sport 29

By Adam Newman

Why do we ride? 

Fitness? Transportation? Socialization?

I call BS. If you ride a bike and you’re reading this, I’d put money on the fact that you ride just because it’s fun.

And the Raleigh Talus Sport 29 I’ve been riding for the past few weeks is just that: fun.


Review: Lemond Fitness Revolution trainer

Review: Manitou Tower Pro 120mm

Review: Fatback Aluminum

Review: Fatback Aluminum

Fatback Aluminum

By Lee Klevens


Review: Yeti 575

Review: Yeti 575

By Justin Steiner

Yeti is without a doubt one of the most iconic of the long-standing U.S. bike brands. I’ve always been impressed with, if not a bit puzzled by, the loyal cult following surrounding Yeti—known as the Yeti Tribe. After all, how many other bike companies have fan pages (www.yetifan.com)? Given the opportunity to test the redesigned 575, I jumped at the chance to drink the Kool-Aid.


First Impression – Giant Anthem X 29er 2

First Impression – Giant Anthem X 29er 2

By Karl Rosengarth

It’s about time.

Giant finally mated their proven Maestro suspension design with big wheels. Viola! Giant gives birth to the Anthem X 29er lineup in model year 2011.

This bouncing baby boy sports 100mm of front/rear travel, thanks to a Fox F29 RL fork with QR15 thru-axle up front, and a Fox Float RP2 rear shock (coupled to Giant’s Maestro rear suspension).


Review: Niner Air 9 Carbon

Review: Niner Air 9 Carbon

By Shannon Mominee


First Impression: Ibis Mojo HD

First Impression: Ibis Mojo HD

By Josh Patterson

So a guy walks into a bar…

He spies a girl sitting alone. She’s attractive. Gorgeous, actually, with curves in all the right places. The guy buys her a drink, walks over and strikes up a conversation, but to his dismay, quickly discovers they have very little in common.


First Impression: BMC Trailfox Carbon

First Impression: BMC Trailfox Carbon

By Shannon Mominee

Over a sunny weekend at Sea Otter I had the opportunity to demo the 2012 BMC Trailfox TF01 Carbon from Swiss manufacturer BMC. Born on the premises that it should operate like a Swiss Army Knife, BMC spared no expenses or technology when creating this full-suspension machine.


Darcy Turenne on the Norco Vixa

Darcy Turenne on the Norco Vixa

Editor’s note: Freeride superstar Darcy Turenne spoke with us about her impact on the development of the Vixa, which we reviewed in Issue 156. You can learn more about Darcy at her web site, hellodarcy.com.

What specific input did you have in the development of the Vixa?


First Impression: Gary Fisher Superfly 100

First Impression: Gary Fisher Superfly 100

By Josh Patterson

Last year it was the Fisher Superfly 100. This year the Gary Fisher brand has been completely absorbed into the Trek mothership. The Superfly, along with other Fisher 29ers, is a now member of Trek’s "Gary Fisher Collection."


Review: Ibis Mojo HD

Review: Ibis Mojo HD

By Josh Patterson

When Ibis returned from the grave in 2005, they did so with a new motto, “steel is real…heavy.” The new Ibis, once again fronted by founder Scot Nichol, is focused on all-carbon, all the time. Ibis doesn’t do model years and, as a company, is not quick to bring new products to market.


First Impression: Pivot Firebird

First Impression: Pivot Firebird

By Justin Steiner

How it works

Here at DRHQ bikes boxes are constantly coming and going with some of the latest and greatest—and sometimes not-so-greatest—bicycles currently out on the market. I was personally pretty stoked to see Pivot’s Firebird show up at our door ready for my flogging.


Like Lambs to the Slaughter

Like Lambs to the Slaughter

By Karen Brooks

Josh, Dirt Rag editor, and I are now at the Seven Mountains Boy Scout Camp, nervously preparing for the start of the Trans-Sylvania Epic. We begin our adventure at three this afternoon with the opening prologue, a time trial of 10 miles. Josh’s wife Jamie is our directeur sportif.


First Impression: Airborne Goblin

Review: Scott Scale 29er

Review: Scott Scale 29er

By Karl Rosengarth

The 2011 model-year marks the unveiling of Scott’s carbon fiber Scale 29er. Like its previously-released 26” brethren, the 29” Scale benefits from a major re-engineering that Adrian Montgomery, marketing/PR director of Scott USA, summed up.


Review: SixSixOne Recon

Review: SixSixOne Recon

By Matt Kasprzyk

The Recon is a new in-mold helmet from 661 that caters to a seemingly growing market of mountain bikers hungry for trail protection at an XC weight. The sizing of the S/M I’ve tested seems to be on point with other manufactures and provided almost skate-style coverage of the sides and back.


Review: Diamondback Sortie 3

First Impression: Jones diamond frame

First Impression: Jones diamond frame

By Justin Steiner

Not all that long ago, owning one of Jeff Jones’ bikes was completely out of the question for most of us. Between the high price necessitated by one man lovingly and artfully crafting beautiful titanium bikes out of his garage and the multi-year waiting list, very few lucky individuals were able to experience the Jones philosophy of how a bike should ride.


Review: Intense Tracer 29

We’ve got our hands on 2012 Shimano XT

We’ve got our hands on 2012 Shimano XT

By Justin Steiner

Shimano’s venerable XT group is turning 30. To celebrate, Shimano has infused the groupo with a host of new technology trickled down from last year’s completely redesigned XTR. We briefly covered the group’s public introduction at Sea Otter, and I’m at Lake Tahoe to put the new group through its paces. Shimano invited a group of us media hacks out to take what may well be the first public rides aboard the 2012 group.


Riding the 2012 Mavic Crossmax wheels

Riding the 2012 Mavic Crossmax wheels

By Adam Newman

Mavic doesn’t design wheels, they design wheel systems, with each component – hubs, spokes and rims – crafted in conjunction to achieve the ideal ride qualities. The 26-inch Crossmax wheel lineup has been completely redesigned for 2012, with three wheelsets with similar technologies but very different ride characteristics.


Under test: Breezer Cloud 9 Pro

Under test: Breezer Cloud 9 Pro

By Maurice Tierney

What better way to “Get the Skinny” on a test bike than a ride with it’s creator? Joe Breeze is a legend of mountain biking and we’re fortunate to have an office nearby his home turf of Marin County, Cali-for-nye-aye.

Joe is a super-nice guy and it’s a super-pleasure to take a ride with him on his home turf.


Ventana El Saltamones gets around

Ventana El Saltamones gets around

By Eric McKeegan

I recently finished the print review of the El Saltamones, and never got around to creating a first impression blog. Maybe it was the difficulty in building it up (took more than six months to get all the parts together), but when I finally got it running I just wanted to ride, not talk about it any more. So how about some photos instead?

Anyway, here it is after a bit of mud at DirtFest.


Riding the all-new Shimano XT

First Impression: Trek Session 8

Review: Protec Cyphon helmet

Review: Protec Cyphon helmet

By Eric McKeegan

The Protec Cyphon helmet is a crossbreed, combining genes from skate and XC helmets with a hard shell bonded to an EPS foam liner. Make no mistake; at 500g you won’t see this on the head of whatever doper is winning XC races this year, although even on multi-hour rides I never found myself thinking about the extra 250 grams I was carting around on my head, but I was happy for the increased coverage and non-roadie squid looks.


First Impression: Bronto Willy singlespeed

New carbon Niner Jet 9 RDO ride report

New carbon Niner Jet 9 RDO ride report

The Jet 9 RDO has 100mm of rear suspension travel. Expect the alloy version to follow suit for 2012.

By Josh Patterson


First Impression: Kona CoilAir

Review: SRAM XO group

Review: SRAM XO group

By Eric McKeegan

Spreadsheets. I hate them. But when I sat down and made one to compare the SRAM XO 2×10 drivetrain’s gear ratios to a standard 3×9, a few things really stood out to me. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s get an overview before delving deeply into the netherworld of gear charts.


Review: Norco Vixa

Review: Norco Vixa

By Karen Brooks, photos by Justin Steiner


Riding the 2012 Specialized Camber 29

Riding the 2012 Specialized Camber 29

By Shannon Mominee

The Camber 29 is a XC/trail full suspension platform with 110mm of rear travel. It features in-line rear suspension to align the seatstays, shock and top tube with one another, so bump force travels directly to the shock for a supple feel. Because it’s offered with a carbon, M5, or M4 aluminum frame in a variety of parts packages, it covers the widest spectrum in the Specialized line from beginner to expert.


Review: Raleigh Talus 29

Review: Raleigh Talus 29

By Adam Newman, photos by Justin Steiner


First look at the 2012 Specialized Stumpjumper

First look at the 2012 Specialized Stumpjumper

The EVO model has green highlights, the S-Works model has red.

By Shannon Mominee


Review: Redline D680

Review: Redline D680

By Lee Klevens


Review: GT Sensor

Review: GT Sensor

By Shannon Mominee


Review: Pryme 8 V2 Lite helmet

Review: Pryme 8 V2 Lite helmet

By Justin Steiner

With the V2 Lite, Pryme has crossed the styling and protection of a brain bucket with the weight of an XC helmet due to in-mold construction. At 300 grams the V2 Lite is nearly half the weight of the plasticshell V2, while passing CPSC, European, and strict Australian safety standards.


Review: Kali Avita helmet

Review: Kali Avita helmet

By Josh Patterson

The Avita is Kali’s take on an XC/all-mountain helmet. Despite its burly appearance, the Avita is quite breezy—15 forward-facing vents and nine exhaust vents move air through the helmet. A removable, but not adjustable, visor keeps late afternoon glare to a minimum. The shell is constructed from four pieces of in-molded fiberglass.


Review: Salsa Spearfish

Review: Salsa Spearfish

By Matt Kasprzyk

If your adventures by bike take you to endurance races, or on all-day epic rides, Salsa has designed a bike with you in mind. At first glance, the Spearfish has a very minimalist appearance, but Salsa has some very specific goals for this bike—it’s a well-mannered endurance rig you may actually be able to afford.


Review: Pivot Firebird

Review: Pivot Firebird

By Justin Steiner


Review: Uvex Supersonic LX helmet

Review: Uvex Supersonic LX helmet

By Shannon Mominee

The Uvex Supersonic LX helmet features double in-mold technology with twenty-three vents and insect webbing across the front three. The shell looks subtle with no pointy edges. At 285g it’s perfect for everyday trail riding and racing.


Goin’ big: Riding the Jones with the Fat Front

Slingshot DD-M takes on the Rattlin’ 50

Slingshot DD-M takes on the Rattlin’ 50

By Adam Newman

I know, I know. You’re thinking: Where’s the cable? Well not everyone wants to ride the kind of cable-sprung bike that Slingshot is famous for, so the Michigan-based brand created the DD-M (Double Diamond Mountain, get it?) and built it right there in the Wolverine State.


First Impression: Rocky Mountain Flatline Pro

First Impression: Rocky Mountain Flatline Pro

By Josh Patterson. Photos by Justin Steiner, Adam Newman and Jon Pratt


Disc brake breakdown: The experts answer our questions

Disc brake breakdown: The experts answer our questions

By Josh Patterson and Karl Rosengarth

There’s a lot of information flying around out there about disc brakes, some more accurate than others. Here’s a cribsheet of what you need to know from brake experts at SRAM, Magura and Finish Line.


Review: Ventana El Saltamontes

First Impression: Norco Truax

First Impression: Norco Truax

By Eric McKeegan

Part of me thinks I’m secretly Canadian. Not only do I always enjoy visiting our friendly neighbors up north, I also without fail enjoy riding their bikes. Case in point, the Norco Truax.

(East Coast mud not included in the MSRP)


First impression: Spot Brand Rocker SS

First impression: Spot Brand Rocker SS

By Stephen Haynes

Founded in 1999, Spot Brand bicycles out of Golden, Colorado, makes beautiful, no-nonsense bikes for going fast. When my bright green Rocker SS tester showed up at HQ I couldn’t wait to get it out and get it dirty.


Review: Easton Haven Carbon wheelset

Review: Easton Haven Carbon wheelset

By Karl Rosengarth

Easton’s UST-compatible Haven Carbon wheels are designed for the abuse dished out by all-mountain bikes with 4-6” travel. The carbon rim is made from a hybrid carbon/HMPE (high modulus polyethylene) composite material that’s held together with resin that involves rubberizing and other impact-resistant components.


Review: Stans NoTubes Crest 29er wheels

Review: Stans NoTubes Crest 29er wheels

By Adam Newman

Tubeless. You’re either in or you’re out. Like the hardtail vs. full-squish, 26” vs. 29” or Shimano vs. SRAM debates, there is no right or wrong side to take; it all depends on your needs.

My needs being what they are, I’ve been a slow adopter of the tape-and-sealant movement, but the latest rim designs and tires designed specifically for tubeless setups led me to finally dip my toe into that pool.


Review – Breezer Cloud 9

Review – Breezer Cloud 9

By Maurice Tierney


Review: Tomac Diplomat

Review: Velocity Blunt SL wheelset

Review: Velocity Blunt SL wheelset

By Shannon Mominee

Velocity’s new 29” Blunt SL Pro wheelset is handbuilt in Grand Rapids, MI. They’re marketed as a race day wheel, because the 1,565g weight is comparable to other “racing” wheelsets. I used them as my primary wheels for optimal trail mileage during the test.


Review: Airborne Goblin

Interbike mini-review: Raleigh Cadent

Interbike mini-review: Raleigh Cadent

By Justin Steiner

The Cadent, along with its female counterpart the Alysa, make up the “Performance Hybrid” portion of Raleigh’s on-road lineup. These bikes fit squarely between Raleigh’s road bikes and their more casual, more comfy, less sporty hybrids.


Review: Mavic CrossMax ST wheelset

Review: Mavic CrossMax ST wheelset

By Eric McKeegan

I’ll admit to being one of the skeptics when the original Crossmax wheels came out with aluminum spokes. “That couldn’t work, could it?” Well after plenty of years and miles, Mavic’s Zircal aluminum spokes have proven themselves to be plenty durable. I tested the ST wheelset, aimed at the trail bike market.


Review: Trek Fisher Collection Superfly 100 Elite

Review: DT Swiss Tricon M1700

Review: DT Swiss Tricon M1700

By Eric McKeegan

These wheels are quite a departure for DT Swiss, away from the standard J-bend spokes and standard lacing patterns and into the brave new world of wheel systems. Billed as all-around trail wheels (what DT calls cross mountain), these should be right at home on any 4-6” trail bike.


Review: Syncros FL 26-inch wheelset

Review: White Brothers Loop TCR Fork

Review: White Brothers Loop TCR Fork

By Josh Patterson, photo by Justin Steiner


In for test: Naked Loonie Singlespeed

Review: Trek Session 8

Review: Trek Session 8

By Justin Steiner


Review: Bronto Willy singlespeed

Review: Bronto Willy singlespeed

By Shannon Mominee

Bronto is located in Springfield, OR, and their mission is “To build some of the best riding and best looking handmade steel mountain bikes,” says Todd “Jedi Master Welder” Gardner. Gardner has 11 years of building experience. He got his start at Burley, where he built over 1,000 steel and aluminum frames. These days, Todd builds two frames per week in five stock sizes. David Alvarez, Gardner’s business partner, handles sales and marketing.


Review: FSA Metropolis Patterson transmission

Review: Rock Lobster road bike

Review: Rock Lobster road bike

Editor’s note: This review originally appeared in our sister magazine, Bicycle Times, but since we got the bike plenty dirty enough, we thought Dirt Rag readers might enjoy it too.

By Eric McKeegan


Review: Shimano Alfine 11-speed drivetrain

Review: Shimano Alfine 11-speed drivetrain

Shimano Alfine group

By Eric McKeegan

I’ve always been interested in internally geared hubs, but other than servicing a random few in my shop days, I’ve had little riding time with them until we started Bicycle Times. Over the last year I’ve spent many of my commuting and utility miles on Shimano’s Alfine group.


Review: Giant Anthem X 29

Review: Giant Anthem X 29

By Karl Rosengarth

Now that Giant has ushered the Anthem X 29er into their lineup, the last of the major players has finally supped from the big-wheeled chalice. Just what flavor of full-suspension 29er Kool-Aid are they serving at Giant? Well, this varietal begins with the light, crisp notes of a race-inspired singletrack machine, and finishes with a 100mm-travel flourish. Makes one rather thirsty.


First Impression: Singular Peregrine

First Impression: Singular Peregrine

By Matt Kasprzyk,

My commute to work, should I choose, takes me over a variety of surfaces. Because of that, I’ve had a monster ‘cross-style bike on my mind for about year now. A road bike with disc brakes that could fit 29 x 2.0 tires seemed ideal to tackle the few miles of road, cinder, and rough gravel.


In the house: Lynskey Cooper CX disc

In the house: Lynskey Cooper CX disc

By Adam Newman

Lynskey might be getting a lot of press right now for bikes they are building for other brands—see our Kona post from yesterday—but they build plenty with its own name on the side too.


Review: Orbea Alma carbon 29er

In for test: Kona Satori

In for test: Kona Satori

Kona keeps expanding its 29er lineup, and for 2012 they’re offering a huge range of models for riders who do everything from racing to hucking.

The Satori sits close to the "huck" end of the spectrum, as 130mm travel all-mountain/trail bike that can hang just about anywhere. Spec’d with a Fox RP2 shock with ProPedal, a RockShox Revelation fork with a thru-axle and a 142×12 rear end, it’s stiff and stout.


In for test: Niner Jet9 RDO

In for test: Niner Jet9 RDO

By Josh Patterson

Niner Bikes, the company that prides itself on its singular focus on producing mountain bikes with 29-inch wheels, unveiled their first all-carbon full suspension last summer at a press camp in Deer Valley, Utah. I was one of a lucky few to spend several days riding the Jet 9 RDO.


First Impression: Salsa Horsethief

First Impression: Salsa Horsethief

By Matt Kaspzryk

For most of us, fall is time of the year when you can’t pass up opportunities to ride. I was lucky that in late October I was able to spend a few days riding some of the trails near State College, PA, which have helped develop the regions relentlessly technical reputation.


Review: RockShox BoXXer World Cup Keronite

Review: RockShox BoXXer World Cup Keronite

By Matt Kasprzyk

This grey dual-crown fork might look unassuming among the RockShox BoXXer line-up, but there are a few distinct updates and tech features that set it apart from other downhill forks, even within the BoXXer family.


Review: Bike Friday New World Tourist

Review: Bike Friday New World Tourist

By Adam Newman

Fold It

Working in the cycling industry requires quite a bit of travel. We go to press camps, trade shows, bike shows, festivals, and, some- times, just-for-fun trips. Bringing a bike with you on your trip has never been simple. You can box it up and ship it ahead of time, or you can pack it and fly it in an oversize case. Both methods have their drawbacks. Enter Bike Friday.


Review: Mavic CrossMax SX wheelset

Review: Mavic CrossMax SX wheelset

By Adam Newman

Designed and crafted as the most durable of the CrossMax series, the SX wheels are capable of everything short of full-on downhill riding. They were a perfect match for our Santa Cruz Nomad test sled, on which they tackled everything from lift-assisted gravity runs to taming the local cross country trails.


First Impression: Trek Gary Fisher Collection Marlin singlespeed

First Impression: Trek Gary Fisher Collection Marlin singlespeed

By David Alden-St.Pierre,

Still unsure as to what impact, if any, the change in branding between Gary Fisher and Trek will have on riders, I was eager to test Trek‘s latest entry-level singlespeed 29’er, the Marlin. My first (and second, and an even later) singlespeed bikes were Fishers (two Rigs and a Superfly), and I was curious as to how this bike would compare.


Review: Kona CoilAir

Review: Kona CoilAir

By Adam Lipinski

In 2009 I was fortunate enough to hear the full explanation of Kona’s Magic Link suspension design from creator Brian Berthold. Since then the Magic Link-equipped CoilAir has been on my list of desirable bikes. The basic premise for the CoilAir is versatility. It teeters on the edge of being a full-blown DH bike, but in a package you can still pedal back up the hill.


Review: Jones Diamond frame and two forks

First Impressions: Kona Hei Hei 29 Supreme

First Impressions: Kona Hei Hei 29 Supreme

By Adam Newman

The Hei Hei has been one of the most popular models in the Kona lineup since the first version—a titanium hardtail—began production in 1990. The current iteration is a full-bore, dual-suspension race 29er with 100mm of travel front and rear.


First Impression: Van Dessel Gin and Trombones

First Impression: Van Dessel Gin and Trombones

By Jordan Villella:

So I know cross season is now over nearly everywhere, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ride a kick ass cross bike around. The Van Dessel Gin and Trombones has entered Frick Park, and it’s eating it for breakfast.


First Impression: Kona Honzo

First Impression: Kona Honzo

By Adam Newman; photos by Adam Newman and Mathias Marley


First impression: two new 29er models from Santa Cruz

First impression: two new 29er models from Santa Cruz

By Josh Patterson

Santa Cruz invited Dirt Rag along with a gaggle of other journos out to Sedona, Arizona, to unveil four new models. We didn’t stumble across any vortexes, but we did have a great time testing four new bikes.

Superlight goes big

Photo by Dan Barham


Recap: Foundry Auger Disc at Southern Cross

Recap: Foundry Auger Disc at Southern Cross

The massive run/walk-up at the start stretched the field apart. Photo by Greg Heil

By Adam Newman

It’s probably not a wise move to start one of the hardest races in the Southeast on a bike you’ve never even seen, let alone ridden, but that’s the kind of sadism we practice here at Dirt Rag—all for you, dear readers.


First Impression: Rocky Mountain Element 950

First Impression: Rocky Mountain Element 950

By Shannon Mominee, photos by Adam Newman


First Impression: Surly Moonlander

Review: Linus Roadster 8

Review: Linus Roadster 8

By Karl Rosengarth, photos by Justin Steiner


First Impression: Canfield Nimble 9

First Impression: Canfield Nimble 9

By Josh Patterson

Canfield Brother’s Nimble 9 is one of a growing number of 29er hardtails featuring short chainstays and slack—by traditional 29er standards—headtube angles. (Banshee, Chromag, Chumba, Kona and Transition are some of the other companies producing aggressive 29er hardtails of a similar ilk.)


First Impression: Gravity G29 singlespeed

First Impression: Gravity G29 singlespeed

By Lee Klevens

The Gravity G29 is one of a slew of single speeds currently under review at Dirt Rag. Gravity is a small, price-conscious company that is trying to compete with the big players in the market. They figure that since the majority of bicycles sold in the world are produced by only a handful of factories in Asia, sourcing their bikes from the same factories and selling them direct to the consumer can save people a decent amount of cash.


Review: All-City Nature Boy

Review: All-City Nature Boy

By Matt Kasprzyk

All-City was primarily focused on urban riding until they decided to get muddy with the Nature Boy. This black beauty, named in honor of Minnesota professional wrestling legend Ric Flair, is meant to get down and dirty as a singlespeed cyclocross race bike. The handmade movement heavily inspired the frame’s classic look, enough so that you almost forget that a guy with a neck-beard didn’t weld this in his garage.


First Impression: Specialized Stumpjumper FSR EVO 26 and 29er

First Impression: Specialized Stumpjumper FSR EVO 26 and 29er

The EVO bikes in Specialized line up are much like an AMG Mercedes or SVO Ford: straight-from-the-factory high performance vehicles. These two Stumpjumper FSRs get additional travel, a chain guide, beefier tires and dropper posts, and designed to push these bikes into the all-mountain category.

Stumpjumper FSR Expert EVO 29


First Impression: Kona Satori

First Impression: Kona Satori

By Adam Newman, action photo by Justin Steiner, still photos by Sterling Lorence

Kona is going big on the big wheels for 2012. This year its offering no less than a baker’s dozen of 29ers in the lineup, from the burly all-mountain hardtail Honzo to the race-ready Hei Hei full-suspension cross-country platform.


You’re never too old for spring break

You’re never too old for spring break

Words by Josh Patterson, photos by the Dirt Rag staff

You can blame MTV for cultivating the notion that spring break is all about binge drinking and making as many bad decisions as one can cram into a week. Rather than squander a week blacking-out in a tacky, overcrowded resort, and waking up next to someone you’d rather not see again, why not spend a week doing something you will actually remember, with people whose company you actually enjoy?


We’ve got the details on SRAM’s 10-speed Grip Shift

First Impression: Niner Jet9 RDO

First Impression: Niner Jet9 RDO

By Josh Patterson

To be fair, this isn’t really a “first impressions” blog. More like a second and third impressions blog really, since I first rode the Jet 9 RDO at a press camp last summer. Click here to read my actual first impressions, and here for our first take when we built our test bike up.


Santa Cruz unveils longer-travel Tallboy in aluminum and carbon

First Impressions: Ellsworth Evolution SST.2

First Impressions: Ellsworth Evolution SST.2

By Karl Rosengarth

When 29ers first burst onto the scene, "hardtail" was the only flavor on the menu. Nowadays, riders can choose from a veritable feast of big-wheeled delicacies, including a growing number of longer-travel bikes. The Ellsworth Evolution SST.2, with its 120mm of front/rear travel, is one such offering.


First impression: Lynskey Cooper CX

First impression: Lynskey Cooper CX

By Adam Newman

Lynskey is one of the largest titanium framebuilding companies in the U.S., if not THE largest. The Lynskey family put titanium on the map with Litespeed Cycles back in 1986 and after that brand was eventually sold, a new company was born in 2006 as Lynskey Performance. They build frames under their own name as well as for several other brands.


Review: Rocky Mountain Flatline Pro

Review: Rocky Mountain Flatline Pro

By Josh Patterson, photos by Justin Steiner and Adam Newman


First Impression: GT Performer 26

First Impression: GT Performer 26

By Adam Lipinski

Many companies have products from their pasts that are icons of their brand. One of GT’s is the mid 80’s Performer BMX bicycle. If you rode BMX bikes in the 80’s chances are you desired a Performer. GT has decided to make a retro induced 26-inch wheeled version of their classic ride, as part of their Adult BMX line. They intend you to use this bike as a simple town cruiser, or take it to your local dirt jumps and track.


In the House: Devinci Wilson SL

In the House: Devinci Wilson SL

By Justin Steiner

Spring is springing and we’re getting closer to one of my most anticipated yearly landmark; Massanutten Resort’s Yee-Ha! downhill race. This will be my third year in a row kicking off the race season at this long-standing event, thanks to its early placement on the calendar and the wonderful folks you’ve made this event happen continuously for the last 16 years.


Review: Electra Amsterdam Royal 8i

Review: Electra Amsterdam Royal 8i

By Justin Steiner

The Electra Bicycle Company believes a bike should be more than just a tool for transportation; it should be a fun and functional extension of your personal style. As a result, they’ve carved out a niche for themselves as purveyors of posh and pleasurable cycles.


First Impression: Spot Rocker Ti and Mavic CrossMax ST 29 wheels

First Impression: Spot Rocker Ti and Mavic CrossMax ST 29 wheels

By Eric McKeegan

Covering the Sea Otter classic can be a lot of work, but sometimes we’re able to slip away and get some riding… I mean, "product testing", done. I rode this setup in the Gran Fondo mountian bike ride.

Spot Brand Rocker Ti


Review: Turner DHR

Review: Turner DHR

By Justin Steiner

Turner Bicycles lays claim to offering the world’s first production downhill bike, so it’s no surprise David Turner continues to push the limits of production race bikes. After all, the downhill market has evolved substantially since 1996 when Turner’s Afterburner delivered a whopping 3.6” of rear wheel travel.


First Impression: Moots MX Divide

First Impression: Moots MX Divide

By Adam Newman

I didn’t have much warning when I found out the Moots demo truck was going to be in our neck of the woods this week, but luckily for me, riding bikes is kinda part of my job. So on Tuesday I rolled over to Pittsburgh’s popular North Park to find the big, blue and white Moots Sprinter van ready and waiting.


Review: Santa Cruz Tallboy Aluminum

Review: Syncros freeride/downhill wheelset

Review: Magura Thor T150 fork

Review: Magura Thor T150 fork

By Karl Rosengarth, photo by Justin Steiner


Review: Fox Van 36 FIT RC2

Review: Fox Van 36 FIT RC2

By Josh Patterson, photo Justin Steiner

Ongoing refinements in air spring technology have made coil springs an increasingly rare commodity these day. For Fox Racing Shox, the long-travel realm is the last bastion of the coil-sprung fork. The Van series comes in 160mm (tested) and 180mm flavors and is designed for all-mountain and park riding.


Review: Slingshot DD-M

Review: Slingshot DD-M

By Adam Newman

Let me start by saying this: if you’re going to ride this bike, you better have nice teeth and a strong neck, because you’re going to be doing a lot of smiling and nodding when your riding buddies start asking you where the cable is.


First Look: Foundry Broadaxe 29er

First impressions: Scott Spark 29 RC

First impressions: Scott Spark 29 RC

By Eric McKeegan

Prep Time For Trans-Sylvania Epic is almost over. I’m still debating clothing choices, getting nutrition squared away and deciding on using bottles versus a hydration pack. I’ve been fortunate not to worry too much about bike choice though: Scott was kind enough to send me a Spark 29 RC to ride and race.


We ride Magura’s new TS fork lineup

We ride Magura’s new TS fork lineup

By Jon Pratt,

This past week I found myself in familiar territory for Magura’s press camp; the Red Agave Resort in Sedona, Arizona, where Dirt Rag had spent Spring Break earlier this year. A world-class trail system literally starts in the resort’s backyard. Trails like Llama, Highline, Templeton/Baldwin, and Slim Shady, show you all that desert riding has to offer.


First impression: Jamis Dragon 650b

First impression: Jamis Dragon 650b

By Stephen Haynes, 

The steel framed Jamis Dragon 650b is an understated beast ready to take you on any quest you may have in store for it. Saddle up and sharpen your broad sword, this bike is ready for adventure.


First Impression: 2×2 Cycles Motorcycle Bicycle Rack

First Impression: 2×2 Cycles Motorcycle Bicycle Rack

By Justin Steiner,

I’ve written previously about the extensive crossover between cycling and motorcycling. The logical extension of these shared passions is combining the two. Like many, I’ve often daydreamed about being able to commute to and from a mountain bike ride on my moto.


Anatomy of a gravel race bike: my Dirty Kanza 200 rig

Anatomy of a gravel race bike: my Dirty Kanza 200 rig

By Josh Patterson,

One of the things I enjoy most about endurance gravel events is that they challenge participants to innovate. Gravel racing is a new and evolving niche. Companies are starting to take note, but for the most part it’s about improvisation and ingenuity.


First Impression: Pivot Mach 5.7 Carbon

First Impression: Pivot Mach 5.7 Carbon

By Karl Rosengarth

The Mach 5.7 is Pivot Cycles‘ vision of the ultimate 26-inch trail bike. The company seems to have hit their mark, as the do-it-all Mach 5.7 is Pivot’s top-selling model. With 145mm (5.7 inches) of proven dw-link rear travel and a sexy carbon frame, the Mach 5.7 Carbon certainly has a lot going for it.


Review: Norco Truax

Review: Norco Truax

By Eric McKeegan,


First impression: All-new Shimano Saint M820 group

First Impression: Focus Raven 3.0 29er

First Impression: Focus Raven 3.0 29er

By Adam Newman

Focus is a German brand that has been making a large push into the U.S. market in the past few years with its range of aluminum and carbon road, mountain, and cyclocross bikes. In fact, the company’s first bikes were a range of mountain bikes in the early ‘90s after being founded by Three-time cyclocross World Champion Mike Kluge.


First Impression: Lenz Sport Mammoth

First Impression: Lenz Sport Mammoth

By Jon Pratt

Devin Lenz has a history of producing some great bikes. Inheriting its DNA from the Behemoth, the first long travel all-mountain 29er, and the Leviathan 29 x 4.0, the Lenz Sport Mammoth is designed to tackle technical terrain while maintaining a frame weight capable of that all-day epic ride.


First ride report: Niner’s redesigned S.I.R. 9 steel hardtail

First ride report: Niner’s redesigned S.I.R. 9 steel hardtail

By Josh Patterson

Last year about this time Niner Bikes unveiled its first carbon full suspension platform, the Jet 9 RDO (read our review in issue #163). This year Niner took time to reinvest in one of the first frames in its line-up, the geared and singlespeed-compatible S.I.R. 9. The company felt steel bikes were being equated with retro, which seemed unfair to such a versatile frame material.


Hands on with Turner’s 650b full-suspension prototype – the Burner

Review: Canfield Nimble 9

Review: Canfield Nimble 9

By Josh Patterson

Canfield is a small, Utah-based company that has been building downhill and freeride bikes since 1999. Lance and Chris Canfield have four bikes in their current line, two of which are 29er hardtails with short chainstays and slack head angles.


First Impression: Devinci Wilson SL

First Impression: Devinci Wilson SL

By Justin Steiner

We’re rolling into the heart of summer, and I’m happy to report I’ve had a good bit of saddle time in on my Devinci Wilson SL test bike. I’ve got some east coast racing in, as well as a trip to Whistler bike Park to sample Shimano’s latest Saint goodies.


First look: 2013 Scott Genius 650b and 29er

First look: 2013 Scott Genius 650b and 29er

By Eric McKeegan

2013 Genius

Scott’s Genius line of trail/all-mountain bikes is now a decade old and after 10 years of design and development, they surprised the heck out of me by dumping the 26-inch wheel size and creating two new platforms from the ground up. The Genius 900 series is the 29-inch bike, and the Genius 700 series, pictured above, is 27.5-inch (650b).


Dropper seatpost review roundup

Dropper seatpost review roundup

We rounded up six of the hottest dropper seatposts on the market to see how a diverse set of engineering principles is helping more riders than ever before get down.

Crankbrothers Joplin 4

Tested by Josh Patterson


Review: Gravity G29 singlespeed

Review: Gravity G29 singlespeed

By Lee Klevens, photos by Justin Steiner

The G29 is about as basic of a singlespeed mountain bike as you can get. Gravity is a small brand under the BikesDirect.com umbrella that strives to offer bikes with a bit more bang for the buck by making a name brand ride without the name brand price.


Review: Naked Loonie singlespeed

Review: Naked Loonie singlespeed

By Karen Brooks

You may know Sam Whittingham or his brand Naked Bicycles & Design by the award-winning bikes he’s shown at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Whittingham won the 2011 People’s Choice Award for an ultra-clean and minimalist singlespeed dubbed the Gentleman’s Scorcher. The Loonie 29er singlespeed Whittingham built for this test recently won the Best Mountain Bike award at the 2012 show, still caked mud from the many miles I put on it.


First ride: Surly’s new Krampus, a ’29 plus’ with 3-inch tires

First ride: Surly’s new Krampus, a ’29 plus’ with 3-inch tires

By Maurice Tierney, wheelie photo by Matt Cacho.

With all the buzz over Surly’s new platform, I was quite excited to get a chance to ride one at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah, where it was to be unveiled. I had seen the fuzzy, grainy spy photos and had some clues as to what was going on. I knew it involved yet another new tire size. What new trend were the folks in Minnesota cooking up now?


First Impression: Norco Aurum 2

First Impression: Norco Aurum 2

By Jon Pratt,

The Aurum 2 is Norco Bicycles’ entry level downhill bike offering. At a mere $1,000 more than an Aurum frame kit, this complete bike packs a lot of punch for the money. It’s also a significant upgrade from the Team DH model it replaced; with better square edge bump compliance, more efficient pedaling through increased chain growth, a reduction in brake jack, and a more easily tuned suspension.


Review: GT Performer

Review: GT Performer

By Adam Lipinski

The Performer 26 is a big wheeled version of the famous 80s Performer BMX that many of us lusted after as kids. The Performer 26 is one of two models in GT’s adult BMX line, the other is the $735 Interceptor, which features a butted chromoly frame and modern components. The Performer 26 is designed to be a functional blast from the past, built for riding in bike parks and general cruising around town.


Review: Singular Peregrine

Review: Singular Peregrine

By Matt Kasprzyk

I’ve been searching for a bike that could handle miles of urban streets as well as dirt—a bike that could endure the abuse of rough gravel roads and provide me with the freedom to explore.


Review: Jamis Bossanova

Review: Jamis Bossanova

By Karl Rosengarth


First Impression: Nukeproof Scalp

First Impression: Nukeproof Scalp

By Eric McKeegan,

Some of you might remember the name Nukeproof. Part of the high end mountain bike component cottage industry that flourished during the 90’s, the name disappeared from the U.S. market years ago.


Review: Spot Rocker singlespeed

Review: Spot Rocker singlespeed

By Stephen Haynes, photos by Justin Steiner

The Rocker SS is Spot Brand’s steel, belt-driven, singlespeed 29er. Spot started as a singlespeed-specific component manufacturer in the ‘90s, so they know a thing or two about the genre. Since 2006 the company has applied that know-how to 29ers.


Review: Gates Centertrack Carbon belt drive system

Review: Gates Centertrack Carbon belt drive system

By Stephen Haynes, photo by Justin Steiner

Gates is a Denver-based company that has been manufacturing belts for automotive, agricultural, and industrial applications for more than 100 years. The company partnered with Spot Brand, located in nearby Golden, Colorado, to develop a belt-driven drivetrain for bicycles in 2007. Gates’ Carbon Drive System uses a high-strength belt that has carbon fiber cords embedded in a rubberized belt. The sprockets are machined from aluminum.


First impression: Foundry Broadaxe carbon 29er

First impression: Foundry Broadaxe carbon 29er

By Joshua Stamper. Photos by Extreme Photography Unlimited.

If your abhor mountain bikes with garish logos and loud colors, the stealthy good looks of the carbon fiber 29er Broadaxe from Foundry Cycles comes as a breath of fresh air. But don’t let the plain matte look fool you — there is much performance underneath its understated exterior.


First Impression: Van Nicholas Zion 29er

First Impression: Van Nicholas Zion 29er

By John Herron

I’ve ridden my share of custom hardtail wünderbikes over the last 20 years. Not being familiar with Van Nicholas bikes, I was skeptical when I heard their bikes were sold online. The words “custom” and “online” are nearly as oxymoronic as “budget titanium”. Can one reach perfectly fit, snappy, light Ti Nirvana from a dropdown menu? Spoiler alert, yes, it seems like you can get pretty damn close.


Review: Trek Marlin singlespeed

Review: Trek Marlin singlespeed

By David Alden-St. Pierre

My first, second, and third singlespeed mountain bikes were Gary Fishers (two Rigs and a Superfly), so I was very curious as to how Trek’s latest entry-level singlespeed 29er, the Marlin, would stack up against those more expensive models.


Review: Niner Jet9 RDO

Review: Niner Jet9 RDO

By Josh Patterson,


Review: Rocky Mountain Element 950

Review: Rocky Mountain Element 950

By Shannon Mominee, photos by Justin Steiner and Adam Newman.

The Element debuted in 1996 as a 26” full suspension bike and continued as such until this year, when a 29” version was added to the Element family. There are three 29” models, each with the same hydroformed aluminum frame. The 950 is the middle bike in the Element 29er line and the one with the most interesting, and versatile, component package.


First Impression: Ritchey P-29

First Impression: Ritchey P-29

By Gary J. Boulanger

The Ritchey P-29er is an old-school looking steel hardtail with a nearly Encyclopedia Britannica-esque history of development and racing heritage, beginning with its iconic tri-color fade paint job, as ridden to silver-medal glory by Swiss pro Thomas Frischknecht at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.


Interbike First Ride Impressions: Devinci Dixon and Atlas Carbon

Interbike First Ride Impressions: Devinci Dixon and Atlas Carbon

By Justin Steiner,

The Devinci camp is in high spirits after taking home first and second place finishes at the final round of the World Cup Downhill circuit this past weekend in Hafjell, Norway. Winner Steve Smith took the victory aboard Devinci’s new Carbon Wilson SL, but that’s not the only carbon fiber bike Devinci is showing and demoing here at Interbike.

Dixon Carbon


Interbike First Ride Impressions: Diamondback Mason

Interbike first ride impressions: Intense Spider 29 Comp

Interbike First Ride Impressions: SRAM XX1

Interbike First Ride Impressions: Giant Trance X 29

Interbike First Ride Impressions: Giant Trance X 29

By Justin Steiner, photos by Stephen Haynes

Despite being one of the many large manufacturers who were slow to adopt 29-inch wheels, Giant is now safely on the longer-travel 29er bandwagon. New for 2013 is the Trance X 29er, offering 5 inches of travel out back, paired with a 32mm-chassis, 120mm-travel fork out front. According to Giant, the Trance X 29 is aimed at the “epic” trail, enduro, and super D market.


Interbike First Ride Impressions: Haro Bikes Flightline Carbon Pro

Interbike First Ride Impressions: Haro Bikes Flightline Carbon Pro

By Stephen Haynes

In case you didn’t know, Haro makes more than just 20-inch bikes for the likes of Dave Mirra and Ryan Nyquist to do amazing feats of acrobatics while flying through the air. They make mountain bikes too.


Interbike First Ride Impressions: Marin Team CXR 29er PRO

Interbike First Ride Impressions: Marin Team CXR 29er PRO

By Stephen Haynes, photos by Justin Steiner.

The Marin Team CXR 29er PRO is the top of the line carbon hardtail 29er from the storied California brand. This race-inspired bike is as light as it is capable.

The frame uses Marin’s Race Geometry, which has a longer top tube to put you in a race ready stance but I didn’t feel like I was way out over the front wheel which was nice.


Interbike First Ride Impressions: Rocky Mountain Instinct 29

First Impression: Reeb Cycles TyReeb

First Impression: Reeb Cycles TyReeb

By Shannon Mominee. Photos by Justin Steiner.

Oskar Blues Brewery has a long history of supporting mountain bike culture. It sponsors many events and delivers tasty canned microbrews to campsites and post-ride trailheads everywhere. It’s no wonder that its latest foray doesn’t involve malts, hops, and barley, but rather 29-inch-wheeled, steel and titanium mountain bike frames.


Specialized Stumpjumper EVO 26 vs. 29 comparison

Specialized Stumpjumper EVO 26 vs. 29 comparison

By Eric McKeegan and Jon Pratt. Photos by Justin Steiner.

An overview of the bikes

Both of these EVOs are built with the same vision: take a standard Stumpjumper FSR, slacken the head tube angle from 68 to 67 degrees, add a few more millimeters of travel, widen the rims, bolt on a chainguide, slide in a dropper post, and let ’er rip.


Review: Jamis Dragon 650b

Review: Jamis Dragon 650b

By Stephen Haynes. Photos by Justin Steiner.

Like a sure-footed dwarven fighter graced with the agility of an elven ranger, the Jamis Dragon 650B inspires confidence in hardy adventurers willing to straddle its sparkly green body.

The Dragon 650b is, at first glace, a very simple looking steel bike. A look at the geometry of the little monster tells a different story. More on that later…


First Impression: GT Xizang titanium 29er

First Impression: GT Xizang titanium 29er

By Maurice Tierney,

Lucky me. I’ve been riding the new-for-2012 GT Xizang in preparation for a titanium grouptest in an upcoming Dirt Rag. Stoked I am—I always dug the GT hardtails back in the day (mid-90’s), so it’s something to write home about when one of your old favorites makes a comeback.


Introducing Pearl Izumi X Project

Introducing Pearl Izumi X Project

By Matt Kaspryzk. Photos by Matt Kaspryzk and Bill Freeman.

Riding bikes with Brian Lopes in Laguna Beach for a couple days? As if that wasn’t enough of a reason to pack my bags, throw in a pair of the much-anticipated new shoes from Pearl Izumi and I’m reminded why this job can be so much fun.


In the house: New fatbikes from Salsa and Six 1 Six

In the house: New fatbikes from Salsa and Six 1 Six

By Adam Newman

Isn’t this a sight? These two little guys are just waiting to get good and dirty. Most of us here in the Dirt Rag office are still fairly new to fat bikes and haven’t been able to get much time on them. Well that’s about to change. 

Six 1 Six


Dirt Rag’s first Impression: Yeti SB-95

Dirt Rag’s first Impression: Yeti SB-95

By Justin Steiner,

Our review of Yeti’s much anticipated, and subsequently revered, SB-95 has traveled a rocky trail to fruition. First, we intended to do a head-to-head comparison with the SB-66 like we had with Specialized’s Stumpjumper 29 and 26.  


Shout out: Bike Blood chain lube

Shout out: Bike Blood chain lube

By Shannon Mominee

We often hear of bicycle products created by bikers for bikers, but Bike Blood Synthetic Lubricant can claim roots to a rich racing history. Bike Blood is brought to market by former pro BMXer and Pittsburgh native Mat Harris.


Review: Surly Troll

Review: Surly Troll

By Jon Pratt. Photos by Jon Pratt and Justin Steiner.


Review: Surly Moonlander

Review: Surly Moonlander

By John Herron

When I heard I would be getting a Surly Moonlander for the winter, I couldn’t wait for the “snow bike” (and the snow) to arrive. Sadly, we had an eerily snowless winter in 2011-2012. Fortunately, I’ve come to understand that the Moonlander is a “fatbike” not just a “snow bike.” And that Roger Rabbit cartoon tires are just as fun on sand, ice, and slime as they are in snow.


Review: Paul Comp Mini-Moto V-brakes

Review: Paul Comp Mini-Moto V-brakes

By Adam Newman

While all the buzz these days is about disc brakes for both cyclocross and road bikes, rim brakes aren’t going away anytime soon. True, cantilevers seem to be off-the-back when it comes to power and performance, but you don’t need to go out and buy a whole new frame, fork, and wheelset if you want more stopping power. The Paul Comp Mini-Motos are one such measure for riders who want to upgrade without replacing their whole bike.


Review: Surly Moonlander

Review: Surly Moonlander

By John Herron

When I heard I would be getting a Surly Moonlander for the winter, I couldn’t wait for the “snow bike” (and the snow) to arrive. Sadly, we had an eerily snowless winter in 2011-2012. Fortunately, I’ve come to understand that the Moonlander is a “fatbike” not just a “snow bike.” And that Roger Rabbit cartoon tires are just as fun on sand, ice, and slime as they are in snow.


Review: 4 high-power LED headlights

Review: 4 high-power LED headlights

By Adam Newman and Justin Steiner. Photos by Justin Steiner.

As the darkness of winter descends, it’s great having a high-powered light that can keep you riding year-round. There is no doubt LED lighting is now the standard, and the arms race of higher and higher lumen ratings seems to only be accelerating as prices fall and output rises.


Review: Ruffwear Bark’n Boots Polar Trex

Review: Ruffwear Bark’n Boots Polar Trex

By Shannon Mominee

As the morning commute and evening mountain bike rides turn colder, I find myself searching for the warmer clothing I know I have somewhere. Fortunately, it’s easier to find my dog Roman’s winter gear and before the snow falls I thought it would be a good idea to give his Ruffwear a test run to check on its condition.


First Impression: Diamondback Mason

First Impression: Diamondback Mason

By Eric McKeegan

The more bikes I ride, the more I get excited to try models at the edges of acceptability. The Mason is going to bike that many find unacceptable, after all, a 66.5 degree head angle can’t really work on a 29er, right?

That is very, very slack, the slackest of any production 29er that is on my radar. Match that head angle with 140mm travel Fox 34 fork, a KS dropper post, and chainstays shorter than 17 inches and you can expect a 29er hardtail that wants to find the big boy lines down the hill.


In the house: Kona Honzo

In the house: Kona Honzo

By Adam Newman

Few new bike models seem to become household names as quickly as the Honzo has. A serious heavyweight in terms of both design and well, weight, it has become the poster child for a new breed of 29ers that are pushing the limits of where you thought those big wheels could go.

The 68 degree head tube is slack. The 120mm fork is long. The 16.3 inch chainstays are short. The smile on my face is large.


2012 gift guide and staff picks – Eric’s picks

2012 gift guide and staff picks – Eric’s picks

By the Dirt Rag staff

This is our first attempt at a holiday gift guide, and, in typical Dirt Rag fashion, we had to do it our way. We’ll share a dirty little secret with you: most magazines’ gift/buyer’s guides are not created based on the recommendations of riders, but by the wants and desires of advertisers.


2012 gift guide and staff picks – Adam’s picks

2012 gift guide and staff picks – Adam’s picks

By the Dirt Rag staff

This is our first attempt at a holiday gift guide, and, in typical Dirt Rag fashion, we had to do it our way. We’ll share a dirty little secret with you: most magazines’ gift/buyer’s guides are not created based on the recommendations of riders, but by the wants and desires of advertisers.


2012 gift guide and staff picks – Shannon’s picks

2012 gift guide and staff picks – Shannon’s picks

By the Dirt Rag staff

This is our first attempt at a holiday gift guide, and, in typical Dirt Rag fashion, we had to do it our way. We’ll share a dirty little secret with you: most magazines’ gift/buyer’s guides are not created based on the recommendations of riders, but by the wants and desires of advertisers.


2012 gift guide and staff picks – Karen’s picks

2012 gift guide and staff picks – Karen’s picks

By the Dirt Rag staff

This is our first attempt at a holiday gift guide, and, in typical Dirt Rag fashion, we had to do it our way. We’ll share a dirty little secret with you: most magazines’ gift/buyer’s guides are not created based on the recommendations of riders, but by the wants and desires of advertisers.


2012 gift guide and staff picks – Karl’s picks

2012 gift guide and staff picks – Karl’s picks

By the Dirt Rag staff

This is our first attempt at a holiday gift guide, and, in typical Dirt Rag fashion, we had to do it our way. We’ll share a dirty little secret with you: most magazines’ gift/buyer’s guides are not created based on the recommendations of riders, but by the wants and desires of advertisers.


In the house: Trek Stache 8

In the house: Trek Stache 8

By Karl Rosengarth. Photos by Karl Rosengarth and Adam Newman.


2012 gift guide and staff picks – Matt’s picks

2012 gift guide and staff picks – Matt’s picks

By the Dirt Rag staff

This is our first attempt at a holiday gift guide, and, in typical Dirt Rag fashion, we had to do it our way. We’ll share a dirty little secret with you: most magazines’ gift/buyer’s guides are not created based on the recommendations of riders, but by the wants and desires of advertisers.


2012 gift guide and staff picks – Stephen’s picks

2012 gift guide and staff picks – Stephen’s picks

By the Dirt Rag staff

This is our first attempt at a holiday gift guide, and, in typical Dirt Rag fashion, we had to do it our way. We’ll share a dirty little secret with you: most magazines’ gift/buyer’s guides are not created based on the recommendations of riders, but by the wants and desires of advertisers.


Review: Pearl Izumi Cold Weather Kit

2012 gift guide and staff picks – Trina’s picks

2012 gift guide and staff picks – Trina’s picks

By the Dirt Rag staff

This is our first attempt at a holiday gift guide, and, in typical Dirt Rag fashion, we had to do it our way. We’ll share a dirty little secret with you: most magazines’ gift/buyer’s guides are not created based on the recommendations of riders, but by the wants and desires of advertisers.


2012 gift guide and staff picks – Mike’s picks

2012 gift guide and staff picks – Mike’s picks

By the Dirt Rag staff

This is our first attempt at a holiday gift guide, and, in typical Dirt Rag fashion, we had to do it our way. We’ll share a dirty little secret with you: most magazines’ gift/buyer’s guides are not created based on the recommendations of riders, but by the wants and desires of advertisers.


Review: Ventana El Ciclón

Review: Ventana El Ciclón

By Maurice Tierney


Review: Trek Slash

Review: Trek Slash

By Justin Steiner


First Impression: Salsa Beargrease

First Impression: Salsa Beargrease

By Shannon Mominee

Call it luck, but with 8-12 inches of snow on the ground and a Salsa Beargrease in for test, I was ready to see what the snow bike flurry has been all about. If you’re not familiar with the Beargrease, it’s one of Salsa’s two aluminum fat bikes.


Review: Bontrager gloves and booties

Review: Bontrager gloves and booties

Bontrager RXL Waterproof softshell gloves

  • MSRP: $70
  • Sizes available: X-small to XX-large

Nothing is worse than cold hands on a ride. Well, maybe cold feet, but we’ll get back to that. These lobster-style gloves are designed as the ultimate barrier between your ten digits and the single digits on the thermometer.


Review: X-Fusion Vengeance HLR

Review: X-Fusion Vengeance HLR

By Justin Steiner

X-Fusion may not have the name recognition of Fox, RockShox, or Marzzochi, but its parent company has been quietly producing suspension components for other brands since 1989. The X-Fusion brand itself was launched in 1999. In recent years, X-Fusion has been making a big push into the market, gaining significant OE spec and recently penning sponsorship deals with both Brian Lopes and Anne-Caroline Chausson.


Reader’s ride: Custom modified Klein Adept 29er

Reader’s ride: Custom modified Klein Adept 29er

Kelly Noltensmeier’s Klein Adept features a custom rear triangle, modern components, and yes, 29-inch wheels.

By Adam Newman

When Kelly Noltensmeier decided to take on longer, more endurance-oriented rides and races, his all-mountain bike just wouldn’t do. After borrowing a friend’s 29er he knew the big wheels were the ticket, but rather than purchase a new bike, he eyed his Klein Adept and thought… “why not?”


Review: Fox 34 TALAS 29

Review: Fox 34 TALAS 29

By Eric McKeegan

This fork is a big deal in the 29er world. In the whole scheme of things, it hasn’t taken that long for it to happen. Less than a decade ago there was little more than a handful of 29” tires, a couple of forks, and few frames. Fisher almost gave up on the wheel size due to poor sales. Now we have the Fox 34, a new 34mm chassis fork developed to address the needs of the growing long-travel 29er segment.


First Impression: 616 Fatbike

First Impression: 616 Fatbike

By Karen Brooks

I’ve been wanting to try one of the latest crop of fatbikes for a while now. I got to ride the Surly Pugsley we tested for Dirt Rag oh so long ago, and it was a lot of fun, as was the Jones Spacebike with its fat front tire.


Review: Focus Raven 3.0

Review: Focus Raven 3.0

By Adam Newman. Photos by Justin Steiner.

It’s hard to believe that not very long ago the idea of a carbon fiber mountain bike seemed like an extravagant folly, but these days it seems like carbon hardtail 29ers are about as common as belly buttons. German powerhouse brand Focus is no exception, bringing its Raven platform to the US to join its expansive lineup.


Review: 45NRTH Wolvhammer boots

Review: 45NRTH Wolvhammer boots

By Stephen Haynes

There are very few cycling goods out there that live up to the perceived reputation inherent in the name given to them. The Wolvhammer winter boots from 45NRTH are a fine example of performance actually meeting perceptions.


First Impression: Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc

First Impression: Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc

By Justin Steiner

Specialized classifies the Crosstrail series of bikes within the “fitness adventure” category, which is an apt description given their aptitude on mixed surfaces. My Crosstrail Sport Disc retails for $830, making it the second least expense disc brake equipped model in the lineup. Only the base Crosstrail Disc is cheaper at $630.


Review: Lake MXZ303 winter boots

Review: Lake MXZ303 winter boots

By Eric McKeegan. Photos by Adam Newman


Review: Marin Rift Zone 29er XC7

First Impression: Nashbar Bee’s Knees 650b singlespeed

First Impression: Nashbar Bee’s Knees 650b singlespeed

By Trina Haynes.

As a cyclist and a mom of two, I am quite familiar with Nashbar’s offerings. Over the years it’s been the cost effective outlet for my hubby and I to get new gear without breaking the bank.

This year Nashbar is breaking into the 650b market with the $500 Bee’s Knees single speed. This is not the first 650b I have played around on and I already enjoy this “tweener” size.


In the House: Specialized Enduro Comp 29

In the House: Specialized Enduro Comp 29

By Eric McKeegan, photos by Adam Newman


Review: Specialized Secteur

Review: Specialized Secteur

By Eric McKeegan

Thinking more about fast group rides, maybe a bit of racing, or even some light touring? Let’s take a look at the Secteur, which is the aluminum version of Specialized’s Paris Roubaix-winning (and creatively named) “Roubaix.”


Review: Surly Troll

Review: Surly Troll

By Jon Pratt, photos by Justin Steiner.


Review: Salsa Horsetheif

Review: Salsa Horsetheif

By Matt Kasprzyk

Salsa’s tagline “adventure by bike” is actually more of a mantra according to Pete Koski, Salsa’s design engineer. Everything the company does is filtered through those three words. The Horsethief is the latest bike the phrase has inspired. Salsa’s goal was to design a bike that could devour technical trails like Horsethief Bench in Fruita, Colorado.


First Impression: Specialized Enduro Comp 29

First Impression: Specialized Enduro Comp 29

By Justin Steiner. Photos by Justin Steiner and Jon Pratt.


First Impression: Pivot LES

First Impression: Pivot LES

By Jon Pratt. Photos by Justin Steiner.


First Impression: Intense Spider 29 Comp

First Impression: Intense Spider 29 Comp

By Shannon Mominee. Photos by Shannon Mominee, Jon Pratt and Justin Steiner

The Intense Spider 29 Comp is the bigger and bolder brother of the Spider 29. Intense should have picked a different name for the Spider 29 Comp, because unlike the Spider, this machine has a carbon fiber frame with more rear travel, shorter chainstays and a slacker head angle than its aluminum counterpart. It’s pretty much an entirely different beast except for the suspension design.


First Impression: Trek Lush 29 SL

First Impression: Trek Lush 29 SL

By Emily Walley. Photos by Emily Walley and Justin Steiner.

The new-for-2013 Trek Lush 29 SL is the fast, stable, big-wheeled sister in the Lush family, which began in 2012 with her 26-inch wheeled siblings. Flaunting her 29-inch wheels along with frame sizes as small as 14-inches, this full suspension trail woman is proof that a small frame size doesn’t have to mean small wheels.


We take a spin through the Fox iRD suspension setup app

We take a spin through the Fox iRD suspension setup app

By Justin Steiner

Here at Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times Headquarters it seems nary a day passes without a delivery person rolling a new bike through the door. Awesome as it is, there are challenges to constantly swapping from bike to bike. In terms of suspension bikes, quickly setting up a new bike at its manufacturer’s recommended baseline is key to kicking off a proper test.


First impression: Rocky Mountain Altitude 770 MSL

First impression: Rocky Mountain Altitude 770 MSL

By Mike Cushionbury. Photos by Justin Steiner

Rocky Mountain started with a clean slate for its new 150mm travel Altitude 770 MSL. The Canadian company weighed the pros and cons of wheel sizes and decided that for a long travel, do-it-all trail/all-mountain bike with a genetic gift for descending, 27.5 was the ideal hoop size. Like geometry and suspension travel, Rocky now uses wheel size to enhance its bike’s ride characteristics.


First Impression: KHS SixFifty 2500

First Impression: KHS SixFifty 2500

By Karl Rosengarth

There’s no denying the buzz surrounding 27.5-inch mountain bikes. Color me intrigued, as I begin my first long-term test on a tweener. I’m ready to clear my mind of preconceptions, ride and learn.


First Impression: Niner S.I.R. 9

First Impression: Niner S.I.R. 9

By Eric McKeegan

The S.I.R. 9 was one of Niner’s first models, helping to propel the 29-only company from tiny start up to a dozen models including three full-suspension platforms. Not one to forget its roots, the S.I.R. recently got a full redesign, and Niner sent us out a test bike, set up in single speed configuration.


First Impression: Santa Cruz Bronson

First Impression: Santa Cruz Bronson

By Justin Steiner. Photo by Matt Kaspryzyk.

Man, it sure is a good time to be a mountain biker. With all of the recent innovations—from dropper posts to 27.5-inch wheels—development sure is cooking along. Seems like this year, more so even than recent years, there’s simply a flood of incredible bikes and products coming to market.


Review: Handlebar Buckets

Review: Handlebar Buckets

By Adam Newman

Riders who do a lot of bikepacking and/or touring have been exploring lots of new ways to carry gear and while a couple of small designers and manufacturers have been going for a few years, a new bumper crop of options have been springing up like May flowers.


First Impression: Kona Raijin Ti hardtail

First Impression: Kona Raijin Ti hardtail

By Eric McKeegan

Years ago, I lusted after a Kona Hei Hei titanium hardtail. This was towards the end of the long reign of the hardtail as king of the NORBA series. I never got that Hei Hei, and years later, even after almost six years of reviewing bikes for Dirt Rag, I haven’t spent any real time on a Ti bike.


First Impression: BMC Four-Stroke FS01 29

First Impression: Ritchey P-650b

First Impression: Ritchey P-650b

By Mike Cushionbury

Tom Ritchey built his first 27.5-inch wheeled off-road frameset in 1977 (which he called a 650b) as a personal bike. It never caught on at that time but now, 36 years later, the industry and many riders have begun to create demand for the in-between wheel size. Though most brands are looking towards longer travel, a few companies with roots in cross-country racing are utilizing the wheel size for that application as well.


First impression: Lynskey Pro29 FS-120

First impression: Lynskey Pro29 FS-120

By Jon Pratt. Photos by Adam Newman.


First Impression: Ventana Zeus

First Impression: Ventana Zeus

By Adam Newman.

Ventana has been building mountain bikes in California since 1988, one year longer than we’ve been publishing Dirt Rag. It’s no surprise that the two would go well together, and we’ve written about several models over the years, and even took a tour of the factory in Issue #161.


Review: Lynskey Cooper CX

First Impression: Lynskey MT 650

First Impression: Lynskey MT 650

By Karl Rosengarth

Don’t call it a comeback. Titanium bikes never went away. However, that whooshing sound that titanium heard in the 1990s was carbon fiber ascending to the top of the frame material food chain.

Back in the day, titanium mountain bikes graced the catalogs of a number of big brands. Who can forget the Tomac signature Raleighs of the early ’90s?


First Impression: Raleigh Eva 29 Comp

First Impression: Raleigh Eva 29 Comp

By Trina Haynes

The $1,100 Eva Comp is one of three women specific 29ers from Raleigh for 2013. While it’s true that women don’t necessarily need a “women specific” bike, they do have a few known benefits: shorter top tubes, to accommodate a shorter torso and longer legs as well as a lower stand-over height than any of the men’s frames I’ve ridden. As someone who has knocked her pelvic bone off the top tube once… ok, maybe twice. I am pretty jazzed about the vag-drop.


Review: American Classic All Mountain 29 disc

Review: Easton EA70 XCT 29er wheels

Review: Easton EA70 XCT 29er wheels

By Shannon Mominee. Photos by Justin Steiner.

Easton’s EA70 XCT 29” wheelset is essentially the high-end EA90 UST rim laced to a less expensive hub. The stealthy graphics are attractive and the multiple axle options make them available to a wide range of users.


Review: Lenz Mammoth

Review: Lenz Mammoth

By Jon Pratt. Photos by Justin Steiner.

Devin Lenz built his first full suspension bike in 1996, and started selling his frames the following year. Lenz started with mid-travel cross-country and trail bikes and quickly dialed up the squish with his gravity rigs. Lenz entered the 29er market in 2004 when he saw an emerging niche he could fill.


First Impression: Specialized CruX Elite EVO Rival Disc

First Impression: Specialized CruX Elite EVO Rival Disc

By Mike Cushionbury For a great many of us, road riding isn’t a dedicated endeavor of criterium racing and hill repeats. It’s a combination of long days on the pavement, as many dirt roads as we can find, a training race here and there and maybe even a cyclocross race. This of course begs the ...


Review: Yeti SB-66

Review: Yeti SB-66

By Justin Steiner There’s been much hubbub in recent months about Yeti’s newest flag- ship trail bike, the SB-66. At first glance, it seemed strange that Yeti might keep their venerable 575 alongside this new 152mm-travel machine, given their similar geometries and travel figures. Yeti’s Chris Conroy described the differences and the reasons for having ...


First Impression: Coconino Signature Model Frame

First Impression: Coconino Signature Model Frame

[portfolio_slideshow id=14924957] By Karl Rosengarth To celebrate his 10th year in business, Steve Garro of Coconino Cycles popped the Champagne cork and sent Dirt Rag his Signature Model frame to test. OK, so that’s not exactly how this 650b hardtail ended up at DRHQ, but the part about Garro fabricating mountain bikes for 10 years ...


First Impression: Trek Fuel EX 9.8 29

First Impression: Trek Fuel EX 9.8 29

By Shannon Mominee Trek’s Fuel is one of the most popular full-suspension bicycles on the market, and for 2014 the company hopes to expand on that success by offering the option of 29-inch wheels. We recently got one in for a long-term review.


Review: Ruffwear Track Jacket (for dogs!) and Bivy Bota Bowl

Review: Ruffwear Track Jacket (for dogs!) and Bivy Bota Bowl

By Shannon Mominee Can you spot the dog in this photo? How about the dog in this photo? The blaze orange Track Jacket from Ruffwear definitely makes it easier to spot my dog, Roman, in the woods and makes him more visible on night walks. And even though he’s not hunting, there are hunters in ...


First Look: Six $2,500 trail bikes spend a week in the Shenandoah Valley

First Look: Six $2,500 trail bikes spend a week in the Shenandoah Valley

Jeremiah Bishop showing us the locals know how to have fun. The leaves have changed and are falling fast, the mornings are met with frost, and the sunscreen is packed away. The days are growing shorter and the riding season is becoming shorter still. But before winter begins to blow its icy breath upon the ...


First Impressions: Mongoose Teocali Expert and Santa Cruz Heckler

First Impressions: Mongoose Teocali Expert and Santa Cruz Heckler

Editor’s note: Here at Dirt Rag we don’t really do “comparison tests” or “shootouts” or declare “winners”. Every bike we review has a story to tell, and they’re all interesting. That said, we rounded up six full-suspension trail bikes in the $2,500-ish range to see what’s really out there in the heart of the mountain ...


First Impression: Norco Fluid 9.1 and Diamondback Sortie 29-1

First Impression: Norco Fluid 9.1 and Diamondback Sortie 29-1

Editor’s note: Here at Dirt Rag we don’t really do “comparison tests” or “shootouts” or declare “winners”. Every bike we review has a story to tell, and they’re all interesting. That said, we rounded up six full-suspension trail bikes in the $2,500-ish range to see what’s really out there in the heart of the mountian ...


First Impressions: Jamis Dakar XCT650 Comp and Specialized Camber Comp 29

First Impressions: Jamis Dakar XCT650 Comp and Specialized Camber Comp 29

Editor’s note: Here at Dirt Rag we don’t really do “comparison tests” or “shootouts” or declare “winners”. Every bike we review has a story to tell, and they’re all interesting. That said, we rounded up six full-suspension trail bikes in the $2,500-ish range to see what’s really out there in the heart of the mountain ...


First Impression: Niner R.I.P. 9

First Impression: Niner R.I.P. 9

I woke to the sound of rhythmic scratching, my mouth a hollow, dry cavity that tasted like stale IPA. Subtle chanting in an unrecognizable dialect reverberated as if in confined quarters, putting an exclamation mark on the headache forming behind my eyes. As the world around me came into focus, my attention fell to a ...


Review: Knolly Endorphin

Review: Knolly Endorphin

Knolly Bikes’ CEO and chief designer, Noel Buckley (hence the correct pronunciation: noll-lee), not only has a degree in engineering and physics, but was born and bred on the trails of Vancouver. This is quite apparent in Knolly’s lineup of bikes built for the rocks and roots of the North Shore. From the Red Bull ...


First Look: Electra Moto cruiser

First Look: Electra Moto cruiser

Electra, the southern California seaside cruiser bike company acquired by Trek in early January, is introducing the Moto—one of its more accessible models–in November. Two models (a singlespeed and three-speed internal) will retail for $549-$659. The company calls the Moto a “blend between a cruiser, mountain bike and a BMX racer.”  The Moto has 29-inch wheels, disc ...


First Impression: Marin Lombard

First Impression: Marin Lombard

Editor’s note: Here at Bicycle Times we are as mindful of price as you are. So we gathered together a group of six very diverse bikes to showcase what you can find right now at the $1,000 price point. See our introduction here. Marin describes the Lombard as having been “Birthed from cyclocross and touring ...


Review: Specialized AWOL Comp Touring

Review: Specialized AWOL Comp Touring

Editor’s note: This review originally appeared in Issue #32 of Bicycle Times. To make sure you never miss a bike review, order a subscription and you’ll be ready for the everyday cycling adventure. The Specialized AWOL Comp ($1,950) is an adventure bike, and a darn good one at that. What’s most surprising about the AWOL ...


First Impression: Specialized Diverge A1

First Impression: Specialized Diverge A1

Editor’s note: Here at Bicycle Times we are as mindful of price as you are. So we gathered together a group of six very diverse bikes to showcase what you can find right now at the $1,000 price point. See our introduction here. All-surface road bikes are what the popular kids are riding—especially here in ...


Review: Turner Burner

Review: Turner Burner

The Burner name was first given to the original Turner, a full-suspension cross-country bike released in the mid-‘90s when the “NORBA standard” hardtail dominated the market. Over the years, the Burner evolved and took some hiatuses from production. This latest version is fast becoming the standard mountain bike of the 20-teens, the 27.5 trail bike. ...


Review: 2013 Salsa Fargo 2

Review: 2013 Salsa Fargo 2

Rather than a beefed-up touring bike, the Fargo 2 is actually a drop-bar mountain bike, with a lighter compact frame, 2×10 drivetrain, tubeless wheels, and slacker geometry than you would find on a road-going touring bike. A tall, 44mm head tube means a higher handlebar for comfort off-road, and suspension-corrected geometry allows a suspension fork ...


Field Tested: Two distinct bells from Spurcycle and Osaka

Field Tested: Two distinct bells from Spurcycle and Osaka

We recently got a pair of unique bells in the office, a U.S.A. made model from Spurcycle that may be the best bell on the market, and the tiny Roadie from Osaka Bells, which may be the most versatile bell on the market. Spurcycle Bell By Emily Walley A bicycle bell goes unacknowledged until needed, and ...


Recommendo: North Face Base Camp duffel bags

Recommendo: North Face Base Camp duffel bags

In this business, we travel a lot. Planes, trains and automobiles, as well as the occasional water-born vessel, that’s the life. We carry a lot of crap too—helmets, shoes, pads, all sorts of oddly shaped items. That’s where the North Face Base Camp Duffel comes in. Available in several sizes, they’re perfect for getting my ...


Review: 2013 Salsa Beargrease

Review: 2013 Salsa Beargrease

The Beargrease, one of two fat bike platforms from Salsa, is billed as a soft conditions racing bike. It’s designed for maximum performance when floatation and stability are necessary. As spec’d, it’s ready to take on frosty winter races or weekend fun on pretty much any terrain. Made EV6 Xtrolite aluminum, the Beargrease has size-specific, double- ...


Review: iXS Trail RS helmet

Review: iXS Trail RS helmet

iXS calls this an “enduro/trail helmet.” What makes it so, exactly? The fact that it’s endorsed by freerider Ritchie Schley? As a matter of fact, this helmet offers extra protection for getting rad while still keeping you comfortable enough to enjoy it, so it’s a good match for enduro-type riding.


Review: WTB Vigilante and Bee Line tires

Review: WTB Vigilante and Bee Line tires

We put two of WTB‘s latest treads to the test, from the fast and furious Bee Line to the heavyweight Vigilante.


Review: Club Ride Roxbury jersey and Pin’It shorts

Review: Club Ride Roxbury jersey and Pin’It shorts

Club Ride has made a name for itself in the cycling industry for offering high-performance apparel with a unique style. From the trail head to the pub, the Roxbury jersey and Pin’It shorts are great options if you want to stand apart by blending in.


Review: Shimano Saint M820 group

Review: Shimano Saint M820 group

This Saint group is the third generation of Shimano’s high-end gravity offering. Where the previous two iterations erred on the heavier-duty freeride side of gravity riding, the new group has been nipped and tucked for a new focus on DH racing. We previously review Shimano’s Zee group in issue #169. Since Zee features a lot ...


Review: Lynskey MT 650

Review: Lynskey MT 650

The idea behind the Silver Series from Lynskey is to offer titanium bikes with a lower price tag, relative to the higher-end models in the company’s lineup. The Silver Series saves some shekels by eschewing extensive tubeset manipulation, sticking to stock sizing, and offering a single build kit. The tweener MT 650 rings the register ...


Review: 9point8 Pulse Dropper

Review: 9point8 Pulse Dropper

I realize I’m in the minority here, but I seem to be one of the rare people who prefer the three-step dropper post style over the infinitely adjustable. With an infinite, the saddle is always too high or too low and I just find myself fiddling with it a lot. The Pulse combines the best ...


2014: the Year of the Single-Ring Drivetrain

2014: the Year of the Single-Ring Drivetrain

While it might seem a little premature to make such a prognostication, I’m going to do it, if for no other reason to get your attention. There is little argument among people who have ridden them that SRAMs 1×11 drivetrains are a serious step forward in drivetrian evolution. What isn’t appealing is the upfront cost, ...


Out of the box: Fox’s Terralogic fork technology

Out of the box: Fox’s Terralogic fork technology

Call it fate. I recently purchased a Santa Cruz Highball frame and needed a fork to complete my build, and while I searched an email was forwarded to me from Fox looking for a tester for this fork. The fork happens to be a Fox 32 Float 29, 100mm FIT Terralogic model, and yes, I’d ...


Review: Carver Ti 420

Review: Carver Ti 420

Admittedly, I went into this test a bit skeptical. I can justify titanium for other applications rather easily, but for a progressive trail riding 29er I needed to be convinced. The weight savings is nice, but would it be stiff enough? Although Ti is usually associated with compliant ride characteristics, Carver Bikes made a point ...


Review: GT Xizang

Review: GT Xizang

Like a Phoenix, the GT Xizang rises from the ashes of the 90’s, when stars like Rishi Grewal and Juli Furtado marked the history books with their global domination of cross-country racing. Times have changed and cross-country racing isn’t the center of mountain bike culture like it used to be, but there’s still a place ...


Review: 2014 Fox 34 Talas 27.5 and Float X

Review: 2014 Fox 34 Talas 27.5 and Float X

For 2014, Fox has significantly revamped its 34-series forks, including a totally redesigned TALAS system, and introduced a completely new shock geared toward all mountain riding and enduro racing.


Review: Royal Racing Alpine Storm jacket

Review: Royal Racing Alpine Storm jacket

  This is one jacket that truly lives up to its name. Built from a waterproof/breathable exterior over a soft, polyester fleece liner, the $145 Alpine Storm jacket from Royal Racing straddles the riding and lifestyle categories from bike saddle to bar stool.


Review: Yakima Holdup 2 rack

Review: Yakima Holdup 2 rack

For me, the hitch mounted tray rack is what you graduate to after toying around with other, lesser types of bike carriers. The Holdup 2 from Yakima is an excellent example of what a bike carrier can and should be. The Holdup comes in two variations for receivers of either 1.25-inch or 2-inches. Yakima supplies ...


Review: Diamondback Mason

Review: Diamondback Mason

The Mason is a serious departure from most 29-inch hardtail geometry, with numbers more often found on all-mountain rigs. A 66.5 degree head angle, 17-inch chainstays and 13-inch bottom bracket is closer to full-suspension bikes. This bike was ready to rip out of the box, assuming you can look past the skinny rear tire. The KS ...


Let’s talk about shirts

Let’s talk about shirts

It is not that often I get excited by shirts, but over the last months, I’ve been wearing three that deserve some attention. Zoic First, this short-sleeved Zoic Nirvana. While it is classified as a jersey on Zoic’s website, it looks and wears like a favorite button-up. A single large zip rear pocket can carry ...


Review: Lake MX145 winter shoes

Review: Lake MX145 winter shoes

A good pair of winter shoes is key for year round riding if you live where it gets cold and snowy. Depending on your region, super duty boots like Lake’s MXZ might be overkill, that’s where Lake’s new $260 MX145 mid-weight winter shoe comes in. The water resistant upper is constructed with a combination of ...


Review: Moots MX Divide

Review: Moots MX Divide

Since 1981, Moots has been handcrafting frames from U.S. made titanium and are well known for their soft-tail YBB frame and high-quality hardtails, road, and ‘cross frames. Feeling the need to cater to XC and Epic riders and racers looking for a short travel bike, other than ones made from carbon or aluminum, Moots partnered ...


Review: Trek Stache 8

Review: Trek Stache 8

The Stache is an all-new addition to Trek’s 2013 lineup, a rugged trail bike designed to be versatile enough to serve as the elusive “one bike that’s does it all.” Rather than give the Stache a substantially different layout, Trek adapted their tried-and-true 29er G2 geometry. The Stache’s 68.6 degree head angle is about a ...


Review: Foundry Broadaxe

Review: Foundry Broadaxe

Tools, in the most basic sense, empower you. They’re an investment in the future; they will help you accomplish things. Foundry Cycles, as a brand, has really pursued the marketing their carbon fiber bicycles as tools. In the hands of a skilled user, or rider, the tool will be transformed into a beautiful thing. Dirty, ...


Field Tested: Blackburn Outpost front rack

Field Tested: Blackburn Outpost front rack

Since the 1970s Blackburn has been making high quality touring equipment that has traveled the world over. A resurgence in the popularity of touring in recent years has led to a renaissance in products from the brand, including the new Outpost front rack. Unlike traditional low-rider racks that mount to dedicated eyelets, the Outpost can ...


Field Tested: Jamis Aurora Elite

Field Tested: Jamis Aurora Elite

The Aurora series has been part of the Jamis stable of bikes since the late 1990s and has included the Elite build since 2008. The Aurora Elite comes outfitted with all the basic building blocks for a bike that could be used in any number of ways: full aluminum fenders and aluminum rear rack, both painted ...


Field Tested: Trek Lync 5 commuter bike

Field Tested: Trek Lync 5 commuter bike

So, you’re kinda still married to riding that old Trek carbon racer from 1998, the one with the garish red, white and blue graphics and a Shimano rear shifter that doesn’t work that well anymore? While it was fun watching you-know-who dominate the Tour de France for seven consecutive years, it’s time to step up ...


First Impressions: Trek 720 Disc light adventure touring

First Impressions: Trek 720 Disc light adventure touring

For decades Trek has offered its model 520 steel touring model, specced with bar-end shifters, a rear rack, braze-ons for fenders and low-rider front rack, and clearance for chubby tires to tackle any terrain. For 2015, two new models are joining it in Trek stores: the rugged 920 adventure bike and the lightweight 720, both made ...


Review: Cane Creek Double Barrel Air

Review: Cane Creek Double Barrel Air

For gravity riders and racers, Cane Creek’s Double Barrel coil shock has long been the be-all-end-all, the place you arrive at when you’ve reached enlightenment. This sentiment explains why there’s been so much buzz surrounding the Double Barrel Air, which utilizes the same Twin Tube damper technology licensed from Öhlins.


Review: Pivot Mach 5.7 carbon

Review: Pivot Mach 5.7 carbon

One bike to do it all—that’s the idea behind Pivot’s Mach 5.7. While the definition of “all” depends to a large extent on the rider, with its 145mm of rear travel and 26-inch wheels, the versatile Mach 5.7 is exactly the style of bike that would top my shopping list. Chris Cocalis of Pivot Cycles ...


Review: Kona Honzo

Review: Kona Honzo

It was certainly not the first, but no bike typifies this new genre of “trail” or “all-mountain” 29ers quite like the Honzo. The brainchild of some serious gravity-addicted minds at Kona, this ain’t no old-school big wheeler. How so, you ask? Well, up front the 68-degree head tube angle is mated to a 120mm RockShox ...


Review: 616 Fabrications fat frame complete

Review: 616 Fabrications fat frame complete

In the varied and ever-changing garden of bicycles, it seems that the fat bike corner is the latest area of flourishing growth, producing new ideas and iterations at a rapid pace. Two longtime mountain bike innovators—Aaron Joppe, former owner of Slingshot, and John Muenzenmeyer, former owner of Nukeproof—have been drawn into this bloom and are ...


Review: Hydration packs from Dakine, Shimano and CamelBak

Review: Hydration packs from Dakine, Shimano and CamelBak

We sample the latest in hydration packs that are not too big, not too small, with a 10-15 liter capacity.


Review: Shimano Zee group

Review: Shimano Zee group

Shimano’s redesigned Saint group has garnered much attention this year from those looking for the crème de la crème of Shimano’s gravity line. Fortunately for budget-minded shredders, Shimano trickled many of Saint’s technologies down to a new, mid-priced rival called Zee. As with many of Shimano’s budget-friendly component offerings, Zee utilizes similar high-end technologies and ...


Review: Marin Rocky Ridge 7.6

Review: Marin Rocky Ridge 7.6

I’ve always held an affinity for full suspension trail bikes because they facilitate a great deal of the flow I thrive on when trail riding. But since I spent many days riding and racing a fully rigid fixed gear on these same trails when I was young and foolish, I can certainly appreciate the connectedness, ...


Review: Spank Subrosa EVO 27.5 rims

Review: Spank Subrosa EVO 27.5 rims

For more than a decade, Spank Industries has strived to create reasonably priced performance bits. Spank’s Subrosa line (rims, handlebars, grips and saddles) is said to be all mountain light, but freeride and downhill strong. We put this marketing to the test on the Intense 951 EVO downhill bike featured in the upcoming Issue #176.


Review: Bell Stoker helmet

Review: Bell Stoker helmet

As trail helmets continue to evolve, they seem to get more expensive. Not so with this new helmet from Bell, which hits a great price point while only losing a few features from its more expensive big brother, the Super.


Review: Kitsbow apparel

Review: Kitsbow apparel

Kitsbow’s mantra is “Impeccable mountain bike wear for obsessives”. This is expensive sounding language, but it captures much about what makes Kitsbow stand out from the rest of the mountain bike apparel crowd while remaining tastefully understated. There are no garish colors to be found in the Kitsbow catalog, mostly grays and blacks and blues, ...


Review: REEB Cycles TyREEB

Review: REEB Cycles TyREEB

REEB cycles was started a few years ago by Colorado craft beer brewery, Oskar Blues. Rather than copy an existing design and slap on the REEB logo, Oskar Blues went against the grain with slacker geometry to tackle the rough descents near its Colorado brewery. REEB bikes are aimed at the rider wanting a capable trail rig without twitchy, ...


Review: Shimano SH-AM45 shoes

Review: Shimano SH-AM45 shoes

Way back in issue #151, I reviewed Shimano’s MP66W shoes. Since then, Shimano has introduced the AM45 model to replace the MP66. I really liked the MP66, so I’m happy to see their spirit carried on in the AM45, with a few improvements. While the MP66 came to us from the BMX world, the AM45’s ...


Spring Break! We go head to head with six new trail bikes

Spring Break! We go head to head with six new trail bikes

It’s been a rough winter near Dirt Rag HQ, and after our last trip to Virginia was such a success, when another offer of lodging and guide service came out way, I didn’t hesitate long to make plans to head south to Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing. Willderness Adventure is about 45 minutes outside Roanoke, ...


Review: Rand McNally Foris 850 GPS

Review: Rand McNally Foris 850 GPS

Rand McNally certainly knows how to make maps, but when it comes to using them in the outdoors, why let the tech companies take over? The Foris is a handheld GPS unit designed for general purpose outdoor use by hikers, cyclists, geocachers and others.


Review: Kelty Ignite DriDown sleeping bag

Review: Kelty Ignite DriDown sleeping bag

When you’re camping out in winter, your sleeping bag is one item you do not want to skimp on. The Ignite Dridown 0 bag makes use of Kelty‘s new DriDown coated down, which helps retains the fluffy features’ loft and warmth. While I certainly didn’t sleep out directly under the rain, I did get it ...


Review: Sierra Designs Super Stratus jacket

Review: Sierra Designs Super Stratus jacket

There’s no denying the superior warmth of natural goose down, but it doesn’t exactly play nice with moisture. A synthetic insulation handles perspiration and precipitation, but doesn’t compress as easily and doesn’t offer the warmth to weight. Enter DriDown, a down treatment process that treats the fibers with a hydrophobic polymer at the molecular level ...


Review: Jeff Jones Bend H-bars

Review: Jeff Jones Bend H-bars

The new Bend H-bar from Jeff Jones builds on a legacy of creative tinkering started over a decade ago by the man himself. The idea behind the new $85 Bend H-bar was to create a svelte version of his signature Loop H-bar without. Less material means less places to mount things like GPS, lights, bell ...


Introduction and First Impression: Breezer Supercell 29er

Introduction and First Impression: Breezer Supercell 29er

Breezer Bikes surprised us all last year with the introduction of the Repack, a 160mm, 27.5 trail/enduro bike aimed right at the heart of the full suspension market. Now it’s following up with a 29er version, with 120mm of travel and the same unique M-Link suspension system. Back in February I was lucky enough to ...


Review: Tires from Specialized and Michelin

Review: Tires from Specialized and Michelin

Our reviews of the (L-R) Specialized Butcher Control, Michelin Wild Mud and Specialized Purgatory Control.


Review: Yeti-SB95

Review: Yeti-SB95

According to Yeti, “SB” stands for “super bike.” Normally this type of marketing claim makes me skeptical, but I was mightily impressed with the SB-66 and its Switch suspension. Given that, I was itching to see if the 66’s settled chassis, snappy pedaling performance and ready-to-rally spirit translated to Yeti’s big-wheeled trail bike.


Review: Pivot LES carbon hardtail 29er

Review: Pivot LES carbon hardtail 29er

Since 2006, Pivot Cycleshas been well known for its full suspension creations, and we’ve had several successfully run through the Dirt Rag testing process. A few have even made it into the personal stables of a couple Rag staffers. So, it was of interest when Pivot Cycles designer/founder Chris Cocalis decided to throw his hat ...


Review: Nashbar Bee’s Knees 27.5 singlespeed

Review: Nashbar Bee’s Knees 27.5 singlespeed

If you have a serious bike obsession equal to mine, shopping for new bike products can break the bank. Thankfully, Nashbar is a competitively-priced company that carries a plethora of products, including bikes, like this offering, the $500 Bee’s Knees 650B Single Speed. The Bee’s Knees is a simple, fully rigid singlespeed with working man’s ...


Review: Van Nicholas Zion 29

Review: Van Nicholas Zion 29

By John Herron I’ve ridden my share of XC wünderbikes over the last 20 years, but I wasn’t familiar with Van Nicholas, or its line of titanium bikes. Without much of an American dealer presence, the Dutch company relies on its website for selling to most of the United States, which left me to ponder: ...


Review: LOOK S-Track pedals

Review: LOOK S-Track pedals

LOOK knows a thing or three about clipless pedals: the French brand was the first to make a widely adopted clipless road pedal in the mid-1980s. For 2013, it has redesigned its mountain bike offering with versatility and durability in mind.


Review: SQlab 711 SY locking grips

Review: SQlab 711 SY locking grips

SQlab is a German brand focused mainly on fit points: grips and saddles. The 711 grip looks like the Incredible Hulk wrapped his mighty paw around a round grip and gave it a squeeze. It’s perfectly shaped to fit your hand as you hold it and comes in three sizes to fit nearly any hand. The shape ...


Spotlight: Kore Mega handlebar

Spotlight: Kore Mega handlebar

Kore’s Mega handlebar occupies a unique place in the market right now; at 251g it’s one of the lightest aluminum bars in 740-760mm width range, and is lighter than many carbon bars in the category despite being far cheaper. This 31.8mm bar is available in 20 and 30mm rise options, both with 5 degrees of ...


Review: Giant Anthem Advanced 27.5 0 Team

Review: Giant Anthem Advanced 27.5 0 Team

Giant Bicycles made a bold move this year by committing most of its line-up to 27.5 wheels. From hardtails to full-suspension, across the board you’ll see the middle wheel size. Though Giant didn’t totally eliminate 29ers this year (you can still find one or two versions each of Anthem, XTC and Trance, compared to a ...


Review: WTB Bee Line and Vigilante tires

Review: WTB Bee Line and Vigilante tires

We’ve been riding a lot of the new WTB tires lately and have been really impressed with both the new tread designs and the ease of use of the new TCS tubeless system. Today we look at the Bee Line, 27.5 XC tire and the Vigilante, a full-bore enduro and all-mountian tread.


Review: Liteville 601 Mk2

Review: Liteville 601 Mk2

Liteville isn’t a brand you see much of on this side of the pond. A sister company to German component maker Syntace, Liteville makes just three understated models, which, when examined closely, display some of the finest design and engineering in the industry. Rather than complaining about what wasn’t on the market, Liteville was formed ...


Review: Mavic Crossmax Enduro wheel and tire system

Review: Mavic Crossmax Enduro wheel and tire system

The new Crossmax Enduro wheel system is unique in that it’s designed around (and includes) Mavic branded tires, the dual-ply Charge and Roam XL. While the wheelset itself doesn’t break any new ground, it does use specific rim widths, spoke counts and lacing for the front and rear.


Review: Yakima SkyBox Pro 16

Review: Yakima SkyBox Pro 16

Mountain biking requires a lot of gear, particularly if you’re, say, going on a multi-day road trip where you plan to camp and ride. When faced with the decision of which automobile to buy to haul around said gear, choices run the gamut from small and efficient to large and inefficient. Years ago, I bought ...


First Impression: Lauf’s radical leaf-spring suspension fork

First Impression: Lauf’s radical leaf-spring suspension fork

I’ve always been drawn to unusual products and technologies. When the strangest gear shows up at Dirt Rag HQ I’m always first to raise my hand to try it. After all, that’s how cycling journalists like myself earn the big bucks. When I saw the Lauf forks at the Sea Otter expo I knew we ...


Review: Suntour Auron RC fork

Review: Suntour Auron RC fork

The Auron is Suntour’s 34mm stanchioned entry in the enduro market, a 27.5 fork in a few damper configurations and travel lengths, topping out at 160mm. This is a basic RC damper with low speed rebound and compression clickers, a slick QR thru-axle, forged hollow crown, and magnesium lowers, adding up to 4.1 pounds with ...


Review: Hydration packs from Hydrapak, Shimano and Mountainsmith

Review: Hydration packs from Hydrapak, Shimano and Mountainsmith

Not all hydration packs are created equal. I’ve been using these three all-purpose adventure packs lately and evaluating the pros and cons of each. Get a detailed report below.


First Impression: Riding Salsa’s full-suspension fat bike, the Bucksaw

First Impression: Riding Salsa’s full-suspension fat bike, the Bucksaw

We had seen it coming. There were spy shots and rumors tossed around about a full-suspension fat bike. In fact, the Bucksaw isn’t even the first one—several smaller brands have built bikes that qualified as “full-suspension”, but this one is different. This is a major brand making a big commitment to a new product segment, ...


Opinion: Stop complaining about expensive stuff

Opinion: Stop complaining about expensive stuff

Bikes like the new Yeti SB5c pack a ton of technology, and usually carry a price tag to match. Lots of folks write to us criticizing the crop of new bikes that are, admittedly, pushing the price envelope at five, seven, even ten thousand dollars. Is that a bad thing for consumers? Not at all, I say.


First Impressions: Santa Cruz Nomad

First Impressions: Santa Cruz Nomad

We’ve tested lots of bikes at Dirt Rag, but none have garnered even a fraction of the attention of the Miami Vice bike. This blue and magenta heartthrob instigates all sorts of comments from riding buddies and other trail users. Rightfully so, thus far in the test period it’s backed up those good looks with a ...


First Impressions: Ibis Tranny 29

First Impressions: Ibis Tranny 29

Ibis recently introduced a 29-inch version of the Tranny and we’ve have been happily pedaling it around local trails over the past few weeks. What makes it different from other hardtail 29ers on the market? Check out my first impressions of this unique carbon hardtail after the jump.


Inside Line: Get the scoop on Specialized’s radical new Demo 8

Inside Line: Get the scoop on Specialized’s radical new Demo 8

I think it’s safe to say that Specialized has created an instant icon. Simply put, the new Demo 8 is unlike any downhill bike we’ve ever seen. While it retains the classic FSR suspension layout, the pivot points were all moved as far down as possible, with the main pivot finding itself concentric with the ...


This Just In: Diamondback Mission Pro 27.5

This Just In: Diamondback Mission Pro 27.5

We first spied this all-new creation from Diamondback back at Sea Otter—hell it was hard not to, considering its electric orange paint can be seen from space. Now it’s in our hands and ready for a long-term test ride.


At the Helm – Mike Sinyard of Specialized and the Stumpjumper Expert Carbon World Cup

At the Helm – Mike Sinyard of Specialized and the Stumpjumper Expert Carbon World Cup

Editor’s note: “At the Helm” was a project we undertook earlier this year as part of our 25th Anniversary celebration. Four bikes, four companies, four founders. Much like Dirt Rag’s own history, each of these founders has seen rough times, but the ship still sails with a firm hand on the wheel. The stories you’ll read ...


Inside Line: New Orbea Oiz 27.5 and 29 race bikes

Inside Line: New Orbea Oiz 27.5 and 29 race bikes

With a few exceptions, most bike companies seem to shy away from making true cross country race bikes, instead designing trail bikes that can be raced. The new Oiz from Basque bike-maker Orbea is decidedly not a trail bike. This is pro-level race machine, ready to decimate the competition when the ability to ride both ...


This Just In: Yeti SB5c

This Just In: Yeti SB5c

Back in July, Yeti announced this newest iteration of the SB lineup, and our SB5c just arrived for long-term test. In a previous post, we delved into the new Switch Infinity’s design details. Now we’re stoked to get the SB5c out into the wild and slash some turns like Joey Schusler in this video.


First Impression: Bell Super 2R

First Impression: Bell Super 2R

Modern all-mountain bikes are really redefining what is possible with a single bike: controlled singletrack climbing and all-out downhill performance. With the machines pushing boundaries, riders are looking for versatile protection that remains comfortable up and down the mountain. Many enduro races also require a full face helmet for the timed stages, and carrying two ...


Book Review: ‘Fat Tire Flyer’ by Charlie Kelly

Book Review: ‘Fat Tire Flyer’ by Charlie Kelly

In the early years of Dirt Rag, I got a package from some guy out west, a guy by the name of Charlie Kelly. In the package were some magazines. Fat Tire Flyer it was called. It was the first MTB magazine, published from 1980 to 87. Charlie had come across a copy of Dirt ...


Review: Kitsbow Ventilated A/M Shorts and Liner

Review: Kitsbow Ventilated A/M Shorts and Liner

It is pretty easy to come down on a pair of $240 shorts ($410 when the liner short is included) for being too expensive. And I’m not going to argue with that. But in a world of $10,000 bikes, there is a market for these shorts, and I’m pretty stoked someone needs to review things ...


Review: Fabric Scoop saddle and grips

Review: Fabric Scoop saddle and grips

Fabric is a new brand woven from the folks at Charge Bikes and the Cycling Sports Group. With the goal of creating a whole line of high-quality parts and accessories, it has started with touch points, including grips and saddles. The Scoop saddle is designed for multipurpose use, from road to cyclocross to mountain biking. ...


Review: Mavic CrossMax XL pedals

Review: Mavic CrossMax XL pedals

Mavic is all about component systems, and as such, the Crossmax XL line includes everything from wheels and tires to shoes and pedals. The Crossmax XL pedals are essentially rebranded Time ATAC pedals, which is a good thing to me since I’ve been a huge fan of the ATAC system for years and have several ...


First Impression: Novara Mazama

First Impression: Novara Mazama

Every day is a good day for an adventure bike! This one comes to us by way of REI. Say hello to the steel Novara Mazama, designed for bikepacking, grinding gravel and all of your off-the-beaten-path adventures. It seems to work well on the plain-old road too, just in case you were wondering. At first ...


Review: Cannondale Slate Ultegra

Review: Cannondale Slate Ultegra

What the heck is this thing? It seems completely out of left field. It’s a mountain bike with drop bars, right? Not even close. So it’s an adventuremobile gravel grinder? Wrong again. Cannondale labels the new Slate as a “new road” bike, and I’d say it leans heavily toward just that: roads. Dirt roads sure, ...


Review: Scott Sub Evo 20

Review: Scott Sub Evo 20

Drawing on Scott Sports’ European sporting and racing heritage, the Evo 20 is designed to be an urban bike that is well-suited to its environment and fun to ride. In practice, I found it to be a very well-thought-out bicycle that had just about everything you’d find yourself needing to navigate through your city’s streets ...


Review: Felt V85

Review: Felt V85

Tester: Eric McKeegan Price: $1,500 Weight: 22.4 pounds Sizes: 43, 45, 51, 54, 56, 58 (tested), 61 More info: Felt Bicycles V85 Felt makes a lot of drop-bar bikes: race, endurance, aero, cyclocross, track and women’s. This V85 is the middle child of the adventure branch of the Felt drop-bar family. What makes this bike ...


First Look: Sony Action Cam Mini

First Look: Sony Action Cam Mini

Bottle cap for perspective. This thing is small. A few weeks ago Sony invited us out to New Jersey to check out its new Action Cam Mini, a slimmed down version of the successful AS100 series Action Cam, which isn’t exactly a big camera either. The new smaller camera still packs the same sensor and Zeiss ...


First Ride: 2015 Giant Reign Advanced 27.5 1

First Ride: 2015 Giant Reign Advanced 27.5 1

Giant is reintroducing its 160mm travel Reign in 2015 after a one-year absence. First appearing in 2005 as a 26er, its return (and overhaul) makes Giant’s dedicated-to-27.5 line-up complete. Besides wheel size, there are a few other significant changes as well. First, the mainframe on the Advanced 1 is carbon fiber with an aluminum rear ...


Long-term Review: Santa Cruz Nomad

Long-term Review: Santa Cruz Nomad

Photos by Justin Steiner and Emily Walley We’ve arrived at version 3.0 of the venerable Nomad, a bike that’s pushed the boundaries of pedal-friendly long-travel bikes from its inception. It comes as no surprise to see this new Nomad further redefining the capability and versatility of the all-mountain category, this time with 27.5-inch wheels. Perhaps ...


First Impressions: Trek Remedy 9.9 29

First Impressions: Trek Remedy 9.9 29

It seems like a long while since I’ve been on a Trek. In the couple years that have passed since I last rode one, we now see some of its once proprietary geometry principles implemented by other manufacturers, such as the increased offset fork on 29ers. ‘So what’s new,’ I had to ask as I began ...


First Impressions: Borealis Echo

First Impressions: Borealis Echo

Borealis claims that its Echo is the first ever high-performance fat bike to be designed around RockShox’s 100mm travel Bluto fork. Considering that the company’s headquarters is a mere three miles from SRAM’s Colorado Springs R&D office that’s no surprise. Borealis was the first company to get its hands on the fat bike specific fork ...


Project titanium 29+ from Carver, Whisky, Syntace and Vee Tire

Project titanium 29+ from Carver, Whisky, Syntace and Vee Tire

The new Carver Gnarvester is designed specifically for  29+ (29×3.0 tires) and we got one in-house for a long-term review. We are building up this titanium frame with a selection of new and used components. This is a pretty sweet chainstay yoke. What kind of word is yoke anyway? Sliding dropouts with Paragon Machine Works ...


Specialized revives Sequoia name for adventure road bike

Specialized revives Sequoia name for adventure road bike

The first Sequoia bikes were designed by Tim Neenan as a road bike with an adventure attitude. The second generation, designed by Jim Merz, evolved into a full-blown touring rig to take you around the world. The name appeared on a series of, let’s say, “less-than-exciting” hybrids and city bikes through the years, but has ...


2014 Dirt Rag Editors’ Choice – Bikes

2014 Dirt Rag Editors’ Choice – Bikes

The year is almost over and it’s time we look back and consider all the bikes, components and gear we’ve tested in 2014. It’s always tough to choose favorites, but choose we did, highlighting our favorite products of the year in the new issue of the magazine. We asked each editor to choose their favorite ...


First Look: Ibis Mojo HD3

First Look: Ibis Mojo HD3

The Mojo HD has been a successful bike for Ibis, with multiple wins under current team rider Anne-Caroline Chausson and former team rider Brain Lopes. But with 27.5 wheels now the norm for long travel bikes—and even though the previous 26-inch model was approved for use with bigger wheels—creating a chassis designed around 27.5 is obviously a ...


2014 Dirt Rag Editors’ Choice – Components

2014 Dirt Rag Editors’ Choice – Components

The year is almost over and it’s time we look back and consider all the bikes, components and gear we’ve tested in 2014. It’s always tough to choose favorites, but choose we did, highlighting our favorite products of the year in the new issue of the magazine. We asked each editor to choose their favorite ...


Review: Soma Wolverine

Review: Soma Wolverine

Tester: Justin Steiner Price: $620 (frameset) Weight: 7.1 pounds (frameset) Sizes: 50, 52 (tested), 54, 56, 58, 60, 62 cm I’ve always been a sucker for bicycles that offer heaps of versatility. Sure, some folks will argue that aiming for versatility results in a “jack-of-all-trades, master of none” scenario, but in reality most of us ...


2014 Dirt Rag Editors’ Choice – Gear

2014 Dirt Rag Editors’ Choice – Gear

The year is almost over and it’s time we look back and consider all the bikes, components and gear we’ve tested in 2014. It’s always tough to choose favorites, but choose we did, highlighting our favorite products of the year in the new issue of the magazine. We asked each editor to choose their favorite ...


2014 Editors’ Choice – On our radar

2014 Editors’ Choice – On our radar

The year is almost over and it’s time we look back and consider all the bikes, components and gear we’ve tested in 2014. It’s always tough to choose favorites, but choose we did, highlighting our favorite products of the year in the new issue of the magazine. We asked each editor to choose the product ...


Review: Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 770

Review: Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 770

Editor’s Note: This review originally appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #180. To make sure you never miss a bike review, order a subscription today. You’ll be helping to support your independent mountain bike forum. The Thunderbolt is an all-new offering in Rocky Mountain’s 2014 lineup. With its 120mm of front and rear travel, this 27.5-inch ...


Review: Giro New Road Thermal Tights

Review: Giro New Road Thermal Tights

Don’t let the inclusion of the word ”Road” fool you into thinking these (or Giro’s entire New Road clothing line) are dedicated to skinny tire pavement riders. A great pair of winter tights is a great pair of winter tights no matter where you’re riding. Bits and Pieces Construction is from a nylon/Spandex mix with ...


Long-term review: Yeti 575

Long-term review: Yeti 575

When the 575 was first introduced a decade ago, it broke the mold for trail bikes. With 5.75 inches of travel, it doubled what other companies were offering, plus it featured a 69-degree head-tube angle, which was unheard of at the time. Back then, it was considered so slack that Yeti told dealers it was ...


Blast From The Past: Pacenti 650b prototype review from 2007

Blast From The Past: Pacenti 650b prototype review from 2007

Editor’s note: This Pacenti 650B bike review first appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #131 in 2007, the same year that Kirk Pacenti showed the first production 650b mountain bike at the North American Handmade Bike Show. By Andy Bruno If you’ve been asking yourself, “How can I rationalize buying yet another bike?”, along comes Kirk ...


In the House: Shimano’s 11-speed XTR vs. 10-speed Deore

In the House: Shimano’s 11-speed XTR vs. 10-speed Deore

After a first ride on the new XTR at the Orbea Oiz launch this summer, we’ve been impatiently awaiting for the XTR groups to become available.  A few days ago, the wait was over. Peel off that shiny outer layer and things look even more classy. Just before the XTR stuff showed up, we also took ...


Review: Uvex Quatro Pro helmet

Review: Uvex Quatro Pro helmet

This is the second Uvex helmet I’ve had, and I’m really sold on their design. For me the fit is dialed, the enclosure system is simple and dependable, and helmet doesn’t look stupid on my head. The visor is very easy to adjust, but it does seem a bit narrower than others. As with most ...


Review: Answer Rove FR Pedals

Review: Answer Rove FR Pedals

For the past month I’ve been running Answer’s Rove FR pedals on all my bikes. Swapping between a fatty, full suspension, dirt jumper and gravel grinder. That’s just how I roll. The Roves are solid. They feature a concave platform and ten hex-head pins per side. They even ship with ten replacement pins for when ...


First Impressions: Giro Empire VR90 shoes

First Impressions: Giro Empire VR90 shoes

Over the past two months I’ve been putting substantial trail time in on Giro’s top off-road offering, the Empire VR and it’s quickly becoming one of my all-time favorites. Giro’s new lace-up VR90 utilizes an old-school lace closure for a comfortable, snug fit. Laces rule because they don’t create pressure points anywhere across your foot ...


Review: Trail LED Halo, DS and XXX lights

Review: Trail LED Halo, DS and XXX lights

As we venture into the winter months and the sun is setting before most of us get home from work, lights become a necessary accessory on our rides. And while there are tons of great lighting options out there, Trail LED has some pretty interesting products we thought were worth checking out. I have been ...


Long-term review: Race Face Narrow/Wide chainring

Long-term review: Race Face Narrow/Wide chainring

  I’m a huge fan of the single ring set up with no chainguide—I have been since the day SRAM released XX1. Between then and now, every one of my personal bikes has been converted to 1×11. My final changeover was to my BMC Fourstroke 29er cross-country race bike. Because it’s spec’d with a Shimano ...


Blast From The Past: Kona “A” bike review from 2003

Blast From The Past: Kona “A” bike review from 2003

Editor’s note: This bike review first appeared in Dirt Rag issue #102, published in August of 2003. By Philip Keyes Kona is one cool company. Case in point: these guys are offering the first-ever production, dual-suspension singlespeed. They had to know that they weren’t going to sell millions of these things, but they had the ...


Rank and File: Full suspension trail bikes under $3,000

Rank and File: Full suspension trail bikes under $3,000

We often hear the usual complaint about always testing bikes that are well out of the price range of riders who don’t have a substantial disposable income. But Dirt Rag has always covered (or at least attempted to cover) a wide variety of price points in the bike world. We gathered six bikes to review that represent the ...


First Impression: GT Helion Elite

First Impression: GT Helion Elite

Editor’s note: This is one of six bikes we’ve gathered together that fall between $1,900 and $2,600. Read our introduction to see the other five and watch for our long-term reviews of each in Dirt Rag #182, due on newsstands and in mailboxes any day now. Subscribe now and you’ll never miss a bike review. GT’s ...


First Impression: Kona Precept DL

First Impression: Kona Precept DL

Editor’s note: This is one of six bikes we’ve gathered together that fall between $1,900 and $2,600. Read our introduction to see the other five and watch for our long-term reviews of each in Dirt Rag #182, due on newsstands and in mailboxes in February. Subscribe now and you’ll never miss a bike review. Kona’s line ...


First Impression: Giant Stance 27.5 1

First Impression: Giant Stance 27.5 1

Editor’s note: This is one of six bikes we’ve gathered together that fall between $1,900 and $2,600. Read our introduction to see the other five and watch for our long-term reviews of each in Dirt Rag #182, due on newsstands and in mailboxes in February. Subscribe now and you’ll never miss a bike review. Giant’s Stance ...


Shimano XTR vs Deore: Getting By With Some Help from Our Friends

Shimano XTR vs Deore: Getting By With Some Help from Our Friends

Joe Cocker passed way December 22. Say what you will about his singing, but there is no denying that man put his heart and soul and body into his performances. It was against that backdrop that I unpacked boxes this Christmas Eve, the help from our friends to get the XTR and Deore groups we have ...


How we roll: Maurice’s Monkey stories

How we roll: Maurice’s Monkey stories

Ahhhh Surly’s Karate Monkey. Released at the Interbike trade show in 2002, it was the first 29er to come through the doors of Dirt Rag. I reviewed it for issue #103 and later purchased it for my own use and abuse. I’ve had many life-changing experiences on this bike, and some near-death ones as well. ...


First look: 1Up USA Quik Rack

First look: 1Up USA Quik Rack

Hailing from southwest Wisconsin, 1Up USA’s products represent some of the same qualities that its Midwestern roots are known for: understated, hard work. There’s nothing flashy or glamorous about the 1Up rack, it is broad-shouldered and square-jawed in a reassuring way. Aside from oozig quality, its standout feature is the unique corner expander ball system that ...


First Impressions: Scicon Aerocomfort mountain bike travel case

First Impressions: Scicon Aerocomfort mountain bike travel case

Traveling with a bike is always an adventure—and not the good kind. Packing your bike in a cardboard box for flying works sometimes, but when things go wrong they go really wrong. While a soft-sided case might seem less protective than a hard-shell, the security of your precious cargo really comes down to 1. how ...


First Impression: Niner Jet 9 1-Star

First Impression: Niner Jet 9 1-Star

Editor’s note: This is one of six bikes we’ve gathered together that fall between $1,900 and $2,600. Read our introduction to see the other five and watch for our long-term reviews of each in Dirt Rag #182, due on newsstands and in mailboxes in February. Subscribe now and you’ll never miss a bike review. I picked ...


First Impression: Santa Cruz Bantam D

First Impression: Santa Cruz Bantam D

Editor’s note: This is one of six bikes we’ve gathered together that fall between $1,900 and $2,600. Read our introduction to see the other five and watch for our long-term reviews of each in Dirt Rag #182, due on newsstands and in mailboxes in February. Subscribe now and you’ll never miss a bike review. Santa Cruz ...


Review: Giro Alpineduro winter SPD boots

Review: Giro Alpineduro winter SPD boots

Giro may have made the perfect “shoulder season” footwear with the Alpineduro. Seriously. These are amazing boots. Looking more like a pair of Italian hiking boots than the typical tech-y bike shoes, the Alpineduro fits in perfectly with Giro‘s New Road ascetic of performance riding wear without the typical racer influenced design cues. At $200 they ...


First Impression: Cannondale Rush 29 2

First Impression: Cannondale Rush 29 2

Editor’s note: This is one of six bikes we’ve gathered together that fall between $1,900 and $2,600. Read our introduction to see the other five and watch for our long-term reviews of each in Dirt Rag #182, due on newsstands and in mailboxes any day now. Subscribe now and you’ll never miss a bike review.   ...


Review: 45NRTH Sturmfist Gloves and Jaztronaut Insoles

Review: 45NRTH Sturmfist Gloves and Jaztronaut Insoles

As you might expect with a name like 45NRTH, as in the 45th Parallel, this company knows a thing or two about cycling in extreme winter conditions. The Minneapolis-based brand was founded under the Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) umbrella back in 2011. 45NRTH’s initial product offerings were tires, but they’ve since branched out to offer ...


First Impression: KHS SixFifty 7200

First Impression: KHS SixFifty 7200

KHS was one of the first brands to wholeheartedly embrace 27.5 wheels, putting its first model on the market in 2009 and now offering 19 models across the line. It was able to do so because it is one of the largest manufacturers in the bike industry, building its own bikes as well as those ...


Review: currexSole BikePro insoles

Review: currexSole BikePro insoles

If you think about it, the connection between your feet and the pedals is the most important between you and your bike. It’s where the power generated by your body becomes forward motion through the gears. Naturally cyclists spend a lot of attention on their shoes, but what is often overlooked is the insoles inside ...


Dirt Rag’s first test-ride on Shimano’s electronic XTR Di2: Part 1

Dirt Rag’s first test-ride on Shimano’s electronic XTR Di2: Part 1

Shimano unveiled its fleet of long-term test bikes for its revolutionary electronic XTR mountain bike shifting in sunny Palm Springs, California. My bike is the potent Pivot Mach 429 Carbon, which is one of the first available to be designed specifically for all internal Di2 wire routing as well as battery storage. After a few ...


Dirt Rag’s first test-ride on Shimano’s electronic XTR Di2: Part 2

Dirt Rag’s first test-ride on Shimano’s electronic XTR Di2: Part 2

This is Part 2 of my first real shakedown rides with the new Shimano XTR Di2 group. Read Part 1 here. In the span of just a few days since receiving the goods I was able to put almost 150 off-road miles on Shimano’s exciting new XTR Di2 electronic components. Here’s a rundown of how it ...


First Impression: REI Co-Op ARD 1.2

First Impression: REI Co-Op ARD 1.2

Adventure outlet REI is ushering in spring 2017 with their new bike line, Co-op Cycles. This new line of bicycles increases their focus on adventure products by placing a slightly increased emphasis on the popular, and growing, segment of gravel and adventure inspired bikes. Feedback from a co-op members survey directed REI’s decision making after ...


Trail Tested: SRAM Guide RSC brakes

Trail Tested: SRAM Guide RSC brakes

 The long awaited change to SRAM’s brake line is finally here. Don’t look for the Avid name or the usual XX or X0 style designations, the new brakes are named SRAM Guide, and model level is identified by features rather than drivetrain family. We received one of the first sets available back in May ...


Trail Tested: Shimano XTR Race brakes

Trail Tested: Shimano XTR Race brakes

By Eric McKeegan The Trail version of Shimano’s excellent XTR stoppers gets all the attention, but there is a Race version that deserves some attention as well. The power and control of the Trail brakes are well documented, but we’ve never had a chance to put the Race version through its paces, until now. Visually ...


Trail Tested: Kona Process 111 DL

Trail Tested: Kona Process 111 DL

The Process 111 is the shortest of travel and biggest of wheel in Kona’s lineup of enduro bikes. Focusing on a slight 111mm of rear suspension and 29-inch wheels, it’s easy to wonder how an XC bike ended up with the longer-travel 27.5 offerings, which includes the Process 134 and 153. But, taken as a ...


First Impression: Pivot Mach 429SL

First Impression: Pivot Mach 429SL

The new carbon Mach 429SL from Pivot Cycles shaves half a pound off the previous frame to come in at a very respectable 5.3 pounds. Match that to 100 mm of potent dw-link controlled suspension and this venerable favorite becomes even more attractive. New hollow-core carbon technology from Pivot not only reduces weight but also increases ...


First Impression: Kona Process 134 SE and 134 DL

First Impression: Kona Process 134 SE and 134 DL

By Emily Walley and Justin Steiner Kona launched its Process line of enduro bikes back in 2014 with the 111, 134 and 153, with each of the numeric model names referring to the bike’s rear wheel travel in millimeters. The 134 and 153 were initially available at two price points, with just one price point ...


Trail Tested: FSA K-Force Disc Brakes

Trail Tested: FSA K-Force Disc Brakes

Designed primarily as a lightweight cross-country and trail-bike stopper, FSA’s K-Force brakes have plenty of key features. The levers are carbon fiber, and the ambidextrous, split-perch body is made from magnesium and uses reliable Torx stainless-steel hardware with a titanium upgrade option. Its minimalist caliper houses two 22 mm pistons. Since appearing in Dirt Rag ...


Exclusive: Dirt Rag test rides new prototype from Chris Currie and Speedgoat Cycles

Exclusive: Dirt Rag test rides new prototype from Chris Currie and Speedgoat Cycles

If the name Chris Curries sounds familiar, it’s for good reason. The bike industry veteran owned Speedgoat Cycles, a Pennsylvania bike shop that grew into a major player. When he sold the company he moved to Portland to shepherd his Asylum brand. Now he is the creative director at Stan’s NoTubes. While he’s been a ...


Trail Tested: Renthal 1XR Narrow/Wide Chainring

Trail Tested: Renthal 1XR Narrow/Wide Chainring

Renthal is well known in the off-road motorcycle world for, among many other things, its hi-quality chainrings as well a collection of top-notch bicycle parts including bars, stems and grips mainly directed towards the downhill, all-mountain and enduro crowd. After 18 months of development and testing Renthal has just this week officially introduced its new ...


First Impressions: Turner King Khan full-suspension fat bike

First Impressions: Turner King Khan full-suspension fat bike

I have to admit, when fat bikes first came around, I didn’t like them either. They looked cumbersome and slow. Not my idea of a good time. But once I started riding a few, I started to see the light. Are they a niche product that could only be someone’s “other” bike? Or are they a ...


Trail Tested: Ryders Eyewear Thorn glasses with photo-chromatic anti-fog lenses

Trail Tested: Ryders Eyewear Thorn glasses with photo-chromatic anti-fog lenses

Aside from a helmet and some air in the tires, there’s one thing I can never ride without: proper eyewear. The right glasses not only keep the sun from getting in your eyes, they can keep even more nasty things from snuggling up to your corneas, like low-hanging branches or pebbles tossed up from other riders. That’s ...


Trail Tested: Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Valor Wheels

Trail Tested: Stan’s NoTubes ZTR Valor Wheels

Stan’s NoTubes was slow to the draw when it came to producing a carbon-rimmed wheelset, and in some aspects it’s not surprising. The company’s range of tubeless aluminum rim and hub combos has been among the best available. Personally, I’ve been using various builds of the brand’s offerings on my own bikes for years and ...


First Impressions: Trek Stache 29plus

First Impressions: Trek Stache 29plus

Introduced a few years ago, the first Trek Stache was a conservative, if not somewhat boring entry into the 29er trail bike market. Well no longer. We were shocked when this 29plus trail slayer showed up on our doorstep a few weeks before it was officially announced today at Sea Otter. Looking more like a ...


First Impression: Ghost Kato FS 7 and Riot 9 LC

First Impression: Ghost Kato FS 7 and Riot 9 LC

    Despite more than 20 years of business in the Europe, Ghost isn’t a brand familiar to many folks in the United States. National outdoor retailer REI will certainly change that public awareness as they are now the exclusive distributor of Ghost bicycles in the United States. Ghost bikes are available both in REI stores ...


Trail Tested: 29plus Tires from Vee and Bontrager

Trail Tested: 29plus Tires from Vee and Bontrager

By Eric McKeegan Since the original introduction of the 29plus platform with Surly’s Krampus, riders in love with the plus-size concept have been wishing for/hoping for/ demanding a more aggressive tire than the all-purpose Knard found on that machine. While there are more plus-size tires in the pipeline, these two tires are the first we’ve ...


Inside Line: First ride on the 2016 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR

Inside Line: First ride on the 2016 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR

If any one single model epitomizes “mountain bikes” it’s the Specialized Stumpjumper. One of the first mass-produced off road bicycles, it been a mainstay of the lineup since 1981. Its evolution has traced the course of mountain bike design, through various frame materials, suspension setups and user categories. There are no fewer than 19 different Stumpjumper ...


First Impressions: Santa Cruz Highball 27.5 CC XX1

First Impressions: Santa Cruz Highball 27.5 CC XX1

As we reported in February 2015, Santa Cruz has added a 27.5 option to its 2015 Highball lineup. The original 29er model also received minor geometry tweaks, but in both wheel sizes, the hardtail remains true to its cross-country, racy roots. The CC designation denotes an upgraded carbon frame that, thanks to some nips and ...


Trail Tested: SRAM X1 Drivetrain

Trail Tested: SRAM X1 Drivetrain

Until the very recent release of the new GX group (which also offers multiple chainring options if you go that way), SRAM’s X1 drivetrain was the company’s entry level, full mountain bike, 1×11 offering. Whether you’re a cross-country, trail or all-mountain rider, this X1 group is a great way to get a taste of wide-ratio ...


Review: Hollywood Racks Sport Rider 4 Hitch Rack and Cargo Carrier Add-On Kit

Review: Hollywood Racks Sport Rider 4 Hitch Rack and Cargo Carrier Add-On Kit

Hollywood Racks sprang from humble beginnings in 1973 when it began making trunk racks in a Hollywood, California–based bike shop. Eventually, the shop was shuttered so Hollywood could focus on its booming rack business. Sport Rider 4 Hollywood’s $444 Sport Rider 4 is a two-plus-two arrangement, meaning there’s a two-bike base rack for 2-inch hitches ...


Trail Tested: Bontrager Rhythm Trail Shoes

Trail Tested: Bontrager Rhythm Trail Shoes

By William Kirk These Bontrager Rhythm shoes could easily hide on the shelf at your LBS under the guise of a standard light-duty cross country shoe. However, if you dig deeper you’ll find features with an obvious gravity influence. About the intended usage of the$160 Rhythm shoes, Bontrager says “A little bit of all-purpose. Trail. ...


Canfield Brothers redesign the Yelli Screamy 29er

Canfield Brothers redesign the Yelli Screamy 29er

The original Yelli Screamy helped to redefine what a production hardtail 29er could be, with short chainstays, a slack head angle and a playful nature. “The original Yelli was the 29er that we wanted to ride,” said Lance Canfield, owner and designer. “It didn’t exist, so we built it. It’s fun up, down, in the air, ...


First Impression: 2016 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 SL

First Impression: 2016 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 SL

Trek discontinued its 26-inch wheeled Top Fuel cross-country line a few years back in favor of re-branding Gary Fisher’s successful 29er Superfly. Now, as the Superfly grows long in the tooth the Top Fuel is reborn in 2016 and it’s as modern and high-tech as a cross-country bike can be. Like the longer travel Fuel ...


First Impression: 2016 Specialized S-Works Camber FSR Carbon

First Impression: 2016 Specialized S-Works Camber FSR Carbon

Action photos by Carson Blume Destination: Trail. That was the buzzword surrounding the much anticipated launch of the all-new Specialized Camber. To showcase just how capable and versatile this bike is Specialized choose the Downieville and Lakes Basin area in Northern California as launch headquarters, based out of the Graeagle Lodge which proved to be ...


First Impressions: 2015 Felt Virtue 3

First Impressions: 2015 Felt Virtue 3

Felt has some bold claims for their 2015 line of Virtue trial bikes. If they’re really going to be the “benchmark for all trial bikes” then this here combo of Felt’s Equilink and Fast suspension better be the shit. There are some really solid 29-inch trail bikes on the market these days, so how is ...


Trail Tested: Jamis Dragon Pro

Trail Tested: Jamis Dragon Pro

Jamis is betting that the rider who wants a steep, short-travel cross-country bike is moving away from steel and looking for newer and lighter materials like carbon fiber. Thus they have redesigned the Jamis Dragon 29 to appeal to the more aggressive trail rider. Looking over the dramatic changes for the new model, I think some pretty wise choices ...


Robert Axle Project mates thru-axles with tow trailers

Robert Axle Project mates thru-axles with tow trailers

When you have a lot of stuff to carry and doing so on your bike isn’t an option—or your bike is already loaded up—a trailer is a great way to expand your capacity. BOB trailers in particular can carry a ton of weight and don’t have an adverse affect on your bike’s handling. They even ...


Inside Line: First ride on new 2016 Salsa models

Inside Line: First ride on new 2016 Salsa models

Ponyrustler Spotted as a prototype at Sea Otter, the new 27plus full suspension bike from Salsa made its official debut today with two carbon fiber models and an aluminum model built around the excellent Split Pivot suspension. If you’re ridden the Horsethief 29er and enjoyed it, you’re likely to feel right at home on the ...


One Bike Challenge: Is the quiver killer finally possible?

One Bike Challenge: Is the quiver killer finally possible?

Last year when working on the 2015 editorial calendar for Dirt Rag, I realized the holy grail might finally be found. Found is really the wrong word, and maybe the grail is the wrong metaphor, but who doesn’t love a good Indiana Jones reference? In any case, the grail I’m referring to is a single mountain ...


First Impressions: Kona’s new Honzo AL/DL, Hei Hei Trail and Precept 150

First Impressions: Kona’s new Honzo AL/DL, Hei Hei Trail and Precept 150

Kona’s tagline for its 2016 lineup is “Going Deeper” and it’s an apt description for its largest-ever product range. While some models carry over largely unchanged, nearly every mountain bike gets an update of some kind, and several get ground-up redesigns. We sampled some of the latest on the trails outside Bellingham, Washington. Honzo AL/DL ...


First Ride: Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie

First Ride: Specialized Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie

Specialized went all-in on 27plus bikes for the 2016 model year with 6Fattie versions of the Stumpjumper and Rhyme, as well as dedicated 6Fattie hardtail models for men and women, called the Ruse and Fuse. Here at Crankworx Whistler we took our first ride aboard the top-of-the-line S-Works Stumpjumper FSR 6Fattie with 150 mm of travel ...


Inside Line: First ride with the new Giro Montaro helmet

Inside Line: First ride with the new Giro Montaro helmet

Photos by Justin Steiner Giro has had a huge hit on its hands with the Feature, a great all-purpose trail helmet that doesn’t break the bank. The new Montaro builds on that success with several new technologies that make it more of a premium product. The first key design priority on the Montaro was making it ...


First Ride: Rocky Mountain Maiden World Cup

First Ride: Rocky Mountain Maiden World Cup

A little over a week ago Rocky Mountain announced its new Maiden downhill bike, and we brought you up to speed on the details here. As we hoped, we were able to ride a few laps aboard an early-production Maiden World Cup at Whistler. After a period of downhill bikes trending steadily slacker, the market seems to have ...


First Ride: SR Suntour Revamps the Durolux

First Ride: SR Suntour Revamps the Durolux

Back in July, SR Suntour invited us to Mountain Creek Bike Park to check out new-for-2016 front and rear suspension products. Although SR Suntour may be best know to some readers as a the suspension brand most often spec’d on trekking and budget mountain bikes, the company has been working incredibly hard in recent years ...


First Impression: absoluteBlack Oval Chainrings

First Impression: absoluteBlack Oval Chainrings

Oval, egg shaped chainrings aren’t new. Despite the failure of Shimano’s Biopace effort from the mid to late 80’s (the “clocked” or wider part of the ring was in the wrong spot and actually decreased pedaling efficiency) newer designs have seen success on the road, most recently in past years with wins in the Tour ...


Project 27plus Part 3 — Hayduke lives!

Project 27plus Part 3 — Hayduke lives!

It’s taken most of the summer but we’ve finished gathering parts for our 27plus project bike. We started this process earlier this year when rumors of a fat 27.5 production bike were just a whisper and no one was really sure what to make of Trek and SRAM’s “Boost” hub spacing. Then came Sea Otter and ...


First Ride: New Santa Cruz Bronson and 5010

First Ride: New Santa Cruz Bronson and 5010

Roughly two and a half years after the initial release of the Bronson and 5010, both bikes have been updated with more progressive geometry and the third iteration of Santa Cruz’s VPP suspension design. The 5010 and Bronson have been hugely successful for Santa Cruz, so updating these popular models was a serious undertaking. Last ...


First Ride: New Juliana Roubion and Furtado

First Ride: New Juliana Roubion and Furtado

Since the initial release of the Roubion and Furtado, a host of changes have taken place in the trail bike market. For 2016, Juliana is updating both the Roubion and the Furtado to reflect these evolutions in design, including slacker head tube angles and steeper seat tube angles coupled with a longer, lower top tube and ...


Interbike: Fuji Auric 1.1 First Ride

Interbike: Fuji Auric 1.1 First Ride

Fuji is not usually the first brand that springs to mind when most riders think of mountain bikes, but full suspension has returned to the company product line and Fuji’s new Auric with M-Link suspension design just might begin to change minds. The M-Link suspension design was first introduced on Breezer’s Supercell and Repack. Breezer is a sister ...


First Impression: A proper English saddle

First Impression: A proper English saddle

No one knows better than a woman how impractical and uncomfortable fashion can be. And no one knows better about suffering on a mountain bike than a singlespeeder. While I have no patience for the physical tyranny of high heels, I will—apparently—put a hard leather saddle on a derailleur-free, suspension-free mountain bike and commit myself ...


Field Tested: Santa Cruz Highball 27.5

Field Tested: Santa Cruz Highball 27.5

From Issue #186 Earlier this year, the Santa Cruz Highball 29er welcomed a 27.5 little brother to the family, and the siblings are like two peas in a pod. The 27.5 Highball is designed to mimic the cross-country-oriented trail manners of its 29er predecessor. Sure, 27.5 and 29 bikes inherently “feel” different. But that’s exactly ...


Field Tested: Bike travel bag comparison

Field Tested: Bike travel bag comparison

We field tested three bags for traveling with your bike: Evoc Bike Bag, Scicon AeroComfort MTB and the Shimano Pro Bike Mega. If you’re ready to ditch the cardboard box, considering putting one of these products on your Christmas/Hanukkah list this year. Evoc Bike Bag Tester: Mike Cushionbury Evoc is commonly known as the brand that redefined how ...


Field Tested: BMC Speedfox SF02 29

Field Tested: BMC Speedfox SF02 29

From Issue #186 BMC from Switzerland is certainly well known as a racing brand. Internationally, Julien Absalon, who is arguably the most famous and winningest cross-country racer on the circuit today, won last year’s world championship on his full-suspension BMC Fourstroke FS01 29. Here in the U.S., Stephen Ettinger won a cross-country national championship while ...


First Ride: Ibis Ripley LS

First Ride: Ibis Ripley LS

Last year, I reviewed the Ibis Ripley. I liked it well enough, but my tastes in mid-travel 29er leans towards low and slack, while the Ripley is more long-travel cross-country. I also got yelled at (via email) by for being too soft on the bike. Which was a valid complaint, as I had inadvertently cut ...


First Impression: Trek Fuel EX 29 9.9

First Impression: Trek Fuel EX 29 9.9

Few bikes have such a storied lineage as the Fuel EX. Trek introduced a refreshed version of its 27.5-wheeled version last year with the incorporation of the Fox Re:aktiv shock technology. This year the 29er model gets the same treatment, with a host of the same features plus some new ones. While still built around a 120 ...


T47: More standards, more problems, or one bottom bracket shell to rule them all?

T47: More standards, more problems, or one bottom bracket shell to rule them all?

Years ago, in search of more stiffness, cranks with 30 mm aluminum spindles were introduced. Unlike the steel 24 mm spindles already on the market, those new oversized spindles didn’t work with the established threaded BSA bottom bracket. This led to a new standard: BB30. The BB30 standard involved bearings installed directly into frames and snap rings ...


Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice 2015: Justin’s Honorable Mentions

Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice 2015: Justin’s Honorable Mentions

Editor’s Note: Our 2015 Editor Choice Awards are out now in Dirt Rag Issue #188. But those items aren’t the only things we were impressed with this year. Here is a list of honorable mentions from our general manager and photographer. If you want to know what we chose as our favorite bikes and gear of 2015, ...


Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice 2015 – Katherine’s Honorable Mentions

Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice 2015 – Katherine’s Honorable Mentions

Editor’s Note: Katherine, our new web editor, wasn’t on staff when the 2015 Editor Choice Awards were being collected for Dirt Rag Issue #188, so her honorable mention list is made up of stuff she purchased during the past year on her own dime. If you want to know what the rest of the staffers chose as their favorite bikes and gear ...


First Impression: Marin Attack Trail 7

First Impression: Marin Attack Trail 7

Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it! Price: $2,750 Marin’s Attack Trail 7 ...


First Impression: Scott Spark 950

First Impression: Scott Spark 950

Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it! Price: $2,700 Scott’s cross-country specific Spark ...


First Impression: Charge Bikes Cooker 4

First Impression: Charge Bikes Cooker 4

Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it! Price: $2,400 Charge Bikes’ Cooker 4 ...


First Impression: Kona Hei Hei Trail

First Impression: Kona Hei Hei Trail

Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it! Price: $2,500 The Hei Hei has ...


Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice 2015: Mike’s Honorable Mentions

Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice 2015: Mike’s Honorable Mentions

Editor’s Note: Our 2015 Editor Choice Awards are out now in Dirt Rag Issue #188. But those items aren’t the only things we were impressed with this year. Here is a list of honorable mentions from our editor-in-chief. If you want to know what we chose as our favorite bikes and gear of 2015, pick up the ...


Choice Cuts: Bikes we’d buy under $3,000—an introduction

Choice Cuts: Bikes we’d buy under $3,000—an introduction

Every year for the last few years, Dirt Rag has gathered up a half-dozen or so full-suspension trail bikes for complete testing that fall into the entry-level/affordable/budget category. Yes, three grand is still a lot of money, but good bikes aren’t cheap and this price point is much more reasonable for the average enthusiast rider willing to ...


First Impression: Surly Wednesday

First Impression: Surly Wednesday

Editor’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it! Price: $1,500 The new Wednesday brings ...


Field Tested: Shimano XM9 Shoes

Field Tested: Shimano XM9 Shoes

When Shimano announced the XM9 and XM7 earlier this year, I couldn’t have been more excited. These shoes looked to be perfect for cool-temperature fall, winter and spring riding. Now with a couple weeks of riding in these shoes, I’m stoked to report the XM9 is every bit as good as I had hoped. This is the ...


Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice – Adam’s Honorable Mentions

Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice – Adam’s Honorable Mentions

Editor’s Note: Our 2015 Editor Choice Awards are out now in Dirt Rag Issue #188. But those items aren’t the only things we were impressed with this year. Here is a list of honorable mentions from our previous web editor (and current contributing editor and editor-in-chief of Bicycle Times, our sister mag). If you want to ...


First Impression: Devinci Hendrix RS

First Impression: Devinci Hendrix RS

Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it! Price: $2,999 The Devinci Hendrix RS ...


First Impression: Transition Patrol 4

First Impression: Transition Patrol 4

Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it! Price: $2,999 Last year, Transition Bikes ...


First Impressions: Norco Torrent 7 Plus

First Impressions: Norco Torrent 7 Plus

Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it! Price: $2,425 The Torrent name is ...


Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice: Eric’s Honorable Mentions

Dirt Rag Editor’s Choice: Eric’s Honorable Mentions

Editor’s Note: Our 2015 Editor Choice Awards are out now in Dirt Rag Issue #188. But those items aren’t the only things we were impressed with this year. Here is a list of honorable mentions from our tech editor, Eric. If you want to know what we chose as our favorite bikes and gear of 2015, pick ...


Review: Scott Spark 700 SL

Review: Scott Spark 700 SL

From Issue #182 The dry, kitty-litter-covered trails of Bootleg Canyon in Nevada can be a cruel testing ground. The twisty singletrack is nearly traction-less and the many rock formations are often not for the faint of heart: While small, they can be steep and often located in turns. In the realm of modern mountain biking, ...


The One-Bike Challenge

The One-Bike Challenge

Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 790 MSL BC Edition How far can a short-travel trail bike take you? From Issue #187 We are at an interesting point in the technological advances in mountain bikes. For years the idea was always more. More travel, more gears, more bigger wheels. But now we’ve started to dial things back: Single ...


Review: Hearing Protection from Etymotic

Review: Hearing Protection from Etymotic

I know what you’re thinking: “Why is a mountain bike magazine reviewing hearing protection?” Even though our sport doesn’t inherently require hearing protection, I’d bet most of us do something from time to time that requires, or should require, a little extra love for our ears. Think building trails in the woods with chainsaws or attending ...


Inside Line: RockyMounts TomaHawk fat bike rack

Inside Line: RockyMounts TomaHawk fat bike rack

Fat bike car racks were a bit slow to come to market even as frames shod with four- and five-inch tires took off out of the gate. Now, RockyMounts is offering a fat bike roof rack for $160. The TomaHawk can fit almost all wheel sizes: 20 inches to 29 inches, and up to 5-inch fat bike ...


Review: Bontrager Old Man Winter boot

Review: Bontrager Old Man Winter boot

Cycling-specific, cold-weather boots have long seemed like a luxury item to me. That changed when I decided to get serious about fat biking and spend every weekend exploring snowy trails high in the cold Colorado mountains. Suddenly, no overshoe was warm enough and no casual snow boot stiff or snug enough. After spending a few ...


Blast From the Past: Koski Ski Bike Review

Blast From the Past: Koski Ski Bike Review

Editor’s note: This report by Dirt Rag’s special operations team, known only as “The Committee,” appeared in Dirt Rag Issue #78, published in April 2000. Status: For your eyes only. Target: Mono Trac (ski bike) Source: Koski Snow Sports, Mill Valley, California Creator: Don Koski Suggested Retail: $1,500 Description: Dual-suspension ski bike, with 8 inches ...


Editor’s Choice 2015: Our favorite bikes

Editor’s Choice 2015: Our favorite bikes

This is Dirt Rag’s second year doing an official “Editor’s Choice.” With editorial staff of all shapes and sizes, spread out all over the country, we can’t just pick one product per category and call it the best. Also notice our timing. While we could do this in the early spring, how much ride time ...


Editor’s Choice 2015: Our favorite components

Editor’s Choice 2015: Our favorite components

This is Dirt Rag’s second year doing an official “Editor’s Choice.” With editorial staff of all shapes and sizes, spread out all over the country, we can’t just pick one product per category and call it the best. Also notice our timing. While we could do this in the early spring, how much ride time ...


Editor’s Choice 2015: Our favorite ride gear

Editor’s Choice 2015: Our favorite ride gear

This is Dirt Rag’s second year doing an official “Editor’s Choice.” With editorial staff of all shapes and sizes, spread out all over the country, we can’t just pick one product per category and call it the best. Also notice our timing. While we could do this in the early spring, how much ride time ...


Review: Salsa Powderkeg Tandem

Review: Salsa Powderkeg Tandem

This review was originally published in our sister magazine, Bicycle Times Testers: Justin Steiner and Emily Walley Salsa first began prototyping tandems back in 2010 when former Salsa Engineer Tim Krueger and his wife Odia saw other couples racing the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival’s Short and Fat Race on tandems. Now, many prototype miles later, ...


Review: Rocky Mountain Maiden

Review: Rocky Mountain Maiden

Tester: William Kirk Age: 32 | Height: 5’ 9″ | Weight: 185 lbs. | Inseam: 31” Overview Like many riders, I fell victim to the enduro bike bug. After almost 15 years of owning various downhill bikes, this was finally the year I said goodbye to owning a gravity-specific rig. Despite my admiration for long, slack, one-trick ponies, ...


Review: Base layers for cycling

Review: Base layers for cycling

Whether your ride exclusively in technical apparel or prefer jeans and the stack of old cotton shirts you saved from rock concerts, there are two investment pieces that can be worn multiple times between washes, extend the usefulness of your usual cycling gear and help get you through winter: a great jacket and a great base ...


Inside Line: The Lindarets Boostinator

Inside Line: The Lindarets Boostinator

Want to upgrade your frame to Boost spacing but don’t want to buy all new kit? The Lindarets Boostinator allows the use of existing 12x142mm and 15x100mm hubs and wheels with 12x148mm and 15x110mm Boost frames and forks. Boostinator Overview: Allows for frame or fork upgrades without the need for new wheels Kits become part ...


Review: Trek Top Fuel 9.9 SL

Review: Trek Top Fuel 9.9 SL

Tester: Mike Cushionbury | Age: 45 | Height: 5’10″ | Weight: 155 lbs. | Inseam: 32” Trek discontinued its 26-inch-wheeled Top Fuel cross-country line a few years back in favor of the successful Gary Fisher 29er Superfly FS. Now, as the Superfly grows long in the tooth, the Top Fuel is reborn for 2016. And it’s as modern ...


Review: Swept-back handlebars from Fouriers and SQlab

Review: Swept-back handlebars from Fouriers and SQlab

Fouriers Trailhead (HB-MB017-M) – $90 Tester: Eric McKeegan Fouriers has teamed up with Chris Sullivan, the man behind the Gnar bars. The Gnar bar and the Trailhead feature the Control Curve bend—an extra bend in the grip area said to match the curve of a palm. The Trailhead sweeps forward then back at 28 degrees, ...


Review: Gore Bike Wear Element Urban Print Windstopper Gloves

Review: Gore Bike Wear Element Urban Print Windstopper Gloves

Like a lot of people, my fingers are one the first things that succumb to the ravages of cold weather biking. The combination of cold air rushing over the glove surface and sweat trapped inside can sometimes cut my frosty rides a bit short. And that’s a shame, because some of the most beautiful rides ...


First Ride – Santa Cruz Hightower 27plus/29 inch trail bike

First Ride – Santa Cruz Hightower 27plus/29 inch trail bike

Disclaimer: Junket- a free trip by a member of the press to a place where something (such as a new bike) is being promoted. Let’s get that out of the way first. The new Santa Cruz Hightower was introduced to select members of the media on a trip to Chile for the first running of ...


Review: NiteRider Pro 1400 Race

Review: NiteRider Pro 1400 Race

The Pro 1400 Race is NiteRider’s lowest priced 1,000+ lumens LED mountain bike light. It has a bunch of modes to choose from, but the three light levels you’ll find most useful when riding your favorite trails are the steady modes with outputs of 400, 850 and 1400 lumens. You’ll get about 9 hours and ...


Review: KTM Lycan LT 217 XX1

Review: KTM Lycan LT 217 XX1

Tester: Eric McKeegan | Age: 41 | Height: 5’11” | Weight: 155 lbs. | Inseam: 32” KTM isn’t the first name to come to mind when thinking of pedal bikes in the United States. We are more familiar with its motorized two-wheelers, and I’ll admit to looking lustfully at the KTM website, and wishing for an Adventure 690 to ...


Review: Atomik Onyx Wheelset

Review: Atomik Onyx Wheelset

For our recent Canfield EPO build, we went with carbon Atomik 29 AM/Enduro Mod-Hook rims laced up to Antifreeze Green Onyx hubs using Sapim Race spokes and Sapim Polyax nipples. The wheelset was beautifully handcrafted and customized by Hubsessed Cycle Works out of Ogden, Utah. Not only do these wheels look incredible, the rims are ...


Industry Nine releases center-lock Torch hubs

Industry Nine releases center-lock Torch hubs

Industry Nine has announced the Torch Classic Mountain Center Lock hubs. Front hubs range from 130-135 grams while rear hubs weigh between 260-265 grams, depending on specifications such as hub spacing, endcap selection and freehub spec. Riders can choose from Industry Nine’s palette of eleven anodized color options to make any mood or match any ...


First Impression: Salsa Pony Rustler

First Impression: Salsa Pony Rustler

Salsa Cycles’ Pony Rustler is the rotund sibling of the brand’s well-admired Horsethief. Both bikes feature the same basic platform and very similar components, with the obvious difference being the wider wheelset of the Pony Rustler. I’ve been riding the Carbon X01 build for a few weeks and have been impressed on how well it ...


New product roundup from Frostbike

New product roundup from Frostbike

Frostbike is an annual dealer gathering hosted by Quality Bicycle Products (QBP), the parent company behind several brands such as All City, Foundry, Salsa, Surly and others. The event takes place at QBP headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in late February and allows shop owners and media types to gather, drink beer and talk shop. With the Taipei International Cycle ...


First Impression: Marin Pine Mountain 1

First Impression: Marin Pine Mountain 1

Finally, I get my grubby mitts on a bike with them thar plus-sized tires. My portulent partner for the next few weeks is Marin’s Pine Mountain 1, sporting a pair of 27.5 x 3.0 inch Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires rolling on wide-bodied Maddux DD40 rims. Those tires and I are bound to become best buds, ...


Drinks on us

Drinks on us

We have some choice, new beverage receptacles in the house. Snag one for yourself.  


Blast From the Past: 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper

Blast From the Past: 1984 Specialized Stumpjumper

Photos by Justin Steiner, Adam Newman and Kyle Heddy In the new issue of Dirt Rag, #190, you’ll find our side-by-side-by-side comparison of the latest and greatest Specialized Stumpjumper FSR models. Now available in three wheel sizes, it’s likely the longest-tenured mountain bike model in existence, after company founder Mike Sinyard introduced it to the ...


Review: Polygon Collosus N8

Review: Polygon Collosus N8

Tester: Justin Steiner | Height: 5’7” | Weight: 165 lbs. | Insteam: 31” Bike sizes: S, M (tested), L, XL | Price: $4,899 Polygon is a name much more well known outside the United States. Unless you follow World Cup DH racing, where you’ve surely seen Tracey and Mick Hannah rocking Polygon’s Collosus DHX race bike, ...


Review: Cannondale Habit Carbon 1

Review: Cannondale Habit Carbon 1

Tester: Mike Cushionbury | Height: 5’10” | Weight: 155 lbs. | Inseam: 32” Bike sizes: S, M (tested), L, XL | Price: $7,460 Before Cannondale’s new 27.5 Habit had even been released, it gained considerable momentum and interest when WTB/Cannondale rider Jason Moeschler won the coveted “All-Mountain World Championships” in Downieville, California, thanks to a ...


First Impression: Lauf Carbonara fat bike fork

First Impression: Lauf Carbonara fat bike fork

Let me tell you, few things make quite an impression as seeing one of these in person. The Carbonara fat bike fork is the second major product release from Lauf, after the Trail Racer mountain bike fork, first for 29ers and then for 27.5. Hailing from Iceland, Lauf is a small company dedicated to bringing ...


First Look: OneUp Shark 10-50 11 speed drivetrain conversion

First Look: OneUp Shark 10-50 11 speed drivetrain conversion

OneUp was one of the first, if not the first, to market wide range adapters for 10 speed drivetrains. It is not surprising to see the same thing for 11 speed. The Shark is a 10-50 “system,” as it requires a range of components to make it work: OneUp 50 tooth cog OneUp 18 tooth ...


Review: Trek Fuel EX Jr

Review: Trek Fuel EX Jr

Testers: Eric and Oona McKeegan Originally published in Issue #138 Buying your kid a bike is a good idea. Is buying your kid a better bike a better idea? Fortunately my daughter and I got the chance to find out with the new Fuel EX Jr. Unlike the full-suspension kids bikes that are often all ...


Blast From the Past: CamelBak Bandido Product Review

Blast From the Past: CamelBak Bandido Product Review

Editor’s note: If you think that lumbar waterpacks are a recent innovation, you’d be wrong. Back in 1998 Adam Lipinski reviewed the way-ahead-of-its-time Camelbak Bandido for Dirt Rag Issue #69. The Bandido is a lumbar pack that doubles as a water pack. The Bandido has two pockets on the sides for popular tools, money, power ...


Review: Juliana Furtado and Norco Fluid 7 Forma

Review: Juliana Furtado and Norco Fluid 7 Forma

Tester: Emily Walley | Height: 5’4” | Weight: 110 pounds | Insteam: 29.5” Originally published in Issue #189 As women’s mountain bike options continue to evolve, it can be difficult to find the ideal bike for your skill level as well as your wallet. If you are a new rider, with undetermined commitment, the options ...


First Ride: New Maxxis 27plus, 27.5 and 29 Inch Tires

First Ride: New Maxxis 27plus, 27.5 and 29 Inch Tires

Words and photos: Emily Walley and Justin Steiner The mountain bike market is a flurry of activity right now as frame, wheel and tire manufacturers strive to sort out where the current evolution and specialization of mountain bikes will end up. On one end of the spectrum, we have enduro bikes with descending capabilities that ...


Review: Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail

Review: Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail

Tester: Justin Steiner | Height: 5’7” | Weight: 165 pounds | Inseam: 31” The Megatrail is the second bike released by Colorado-based manufacturer Guerrilla Gravity. The company’s first bike was a full-bore downhill bike dubbed the GG/DH. Where the GG/DH was designed to punish downhill courses, the Megatrail strives to blend downhill prowess and pedaling ...


First Impression: Kona Hei Hei Race DL

First Impression: Kona Hei Hei Race DL

Since this is a “first impression” write up, I will give you my unvarnished first impression of Kona’s new carbon Hei Hei Race DL: “Woo hoo!” The Hei Hei Race DL marks Kona’s return to using carbon fiber frames on its (non-DH) mountain bikes, after a few years spent refining the process and finding the right ...


Sea Otter 2016: Trek Farley EX

Sea Otter 2016: Trek Farley EX

Bets around the Dirt Rag virtual water cooler (which is located in the virtual Dirt Rag HQ) put money on Trek releasing a 27plus full-suspension trail bike or a Stache 29plus full-suspension ripper. Neither guess was accurate, obviously. Instead, Trek dropped a 27.5 x 3.8 Farley EX trail bike with full suspension at the Sea Otter Classic. Actually Trek ...


First Ride: Rocky Mountain Pipeline

First Ride: Rocky Mountain Pipeline

For some riders the name Pipeline will bring up old memories of adjustable travel URT suspension and Giro Switchblade helmets. But put those thoughts out of your head. This new bike might as well be an alien species for how little DNA is shares with that early freeride bike. Much like the Sherpa, Rocky’s first ...


Review: Devinci Hendrix RS

Review: Devinci Hendrix RS

This is our third annual roundup of trail bikes that aren’t priced to the stratosphere. We could call them affordable, budget, real-world, blue-collar or college-fund-friendly, but someone would take offense at our assumption of disposable income level. It doesn’t really matter though. These are great bikes for the price, and we’ll leave it up to ...


Review: Marin Attack Trail 7

Review: Marin Attack Trail 7

This is our third annual roundup of trail bikes that aren’t priced to the stratosphere. We could call them affordable, budget, real-world, blue-collar or college-fund-friendly, but someone would take offense at our assumption of disposable income level. It doesn’t really matter though. These are great bikes for the price, and we’ll leave it up to ...


New Juliana Joplin 29 or 27plus

New Juliana Joplin 29 or 27plus

Not to be outdone by big brother, Juliana announced an updated Joplin to coincide with the new Santa Cruz Tallboy (since they’re basically the same bike). The new Joplin shares a frame with the Tallboy, but comes with a lighter suspension tune designed to offer a plusher ride to lighter-weight riders. The suspension promises to be ...


Review: Charge Cooker 4

Review: Charge Cooker 4

This is our third annual roundup of trail bikes that aren’t priced to the stratosphere. We could call them affordable, budget, real-world, blue-collar or college-fund-friendly, but someone would take offense at our assumption of disposable income level. It doesn’t really matter though. These are great bikes for the price, and we’ll leave it up to ...


Review: Norco Torrent 7.1

Review: Norco Torrent 7.1

This is our third annual roundup of trail bikes that aren’t priced to the stratosphere. We could call them affordable, budget, real-world, blue-collar or college-fund-friendly, but someone would take offense at our assumption of disposable income level. It doesn’t really matter though. These are great bikes for the price, and we’ll leave it up to ...


Review: Transition Patrol 4

Review: Transition Patrol 4

This is our third annual roundup of trail bikes that aren’t priced to the stratosphere. We could call them affordable, budget, real-world, blue-collar or college-fund-friendly, but someone would take offense at our assumption of disposable income level. It doesn’t really matter though. These are great bikes for the price, and we’ll leave it up to ...


First Impression: Lenz Sport Behemoth 29plus

First Impression: Lenz Sport Behemoth 29plus

Bigger is always better, right? YUUUUGE is the name of the game this year, so why not embrace it? The latest bike from Colorado framebuilder Devin Lenz is a behemoth. Actually it’s the Behemoth, a 5-inch travel trail bike built for 29plus wheels. Lenz said he was skeptical about the plus wheels at first but ...


Review: Kona Hei Hei Trail

Review: Kona Hei Hei Trail

This is our third annual roundup of trail bikes that aren’t priced to the stratosphere. We could call them affordable, budget, real-world, blue-collar or college-fund-friendly, but someone would take offense at our assumption of disposable income level. It doesn’t really matter though. These are great bikes for the price, and we’ll leave it up to ...


Review: Surly Wednesday

Review: Surly Wednesday

This is our third annual roundup of trail bikes that aren’t priced to the stratosphere. We could call them affordable, budget, real-world, blue-collar or college-fund-friendly, but someone would take offense at our assumption of disposable income level. It doesn’t really matter though. These are great bikes for the price, and we’ll leave it up to ...


Review: Advocate Cycles Hayduke

Review: Advocate Cycles Hayduke

Tester: Adam Newman Age: 35, Height: 6’2”, Weight: 180 lbs., Inseam: 34” Price: $750 (frame). Complete bikes from $2,699 Sizes: S, M, L (tested), XL More info: Advocate Cycles The Hayduke is named for the infamous anti-hero of “The Monkey Wrench Gang,” Edward Abbey’s 1975 cult classic novel of radical environmentalism (and sabotage) in the ...


The Wheel Size Explainer

The Wheel Size Explainer

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it ...


Camera bags and backpacks for cycling

Camera bags and backpacks for cycling

F-Stop Kenti Tester: Justin Steiner Price: $169 The 25-liter Kenti is a mountain-sports photographer’s best friend. This feature-heavy pack offers a large center pocket that’s fully customizable with included dividers and is accessible from both sides. There’s enough space to pack a full complement of lenses, flashes, bike tools, flat repair kit, rain shell, your ...


Review: Specialized Stumpjumper FSR faceoff

Review: Specialized Stumpjumper FSR faceoff

Photos: Justin Steiner Graphic: Stephen Haynes As of this writing, very few manufacturers offer 27.5, 27plus and 29 inch wheels within one model lineup, but Specialized has embraced wheel size options big time for 2016. The venerable Stumpjumper FSR is available in 14 complete builds and five frame-only options across all three wheel sizes. Complete ...


Tested: Plus-size mountain bike tires

Tested: Plus-size mountain bike tires

To compliment our recent wheel size explainer (which you should check out, here), we tested four plus-size tires from MAXXIS and WTB that cover various riding conditions. MAXXIS Rekon+ Price: $130 (each) Tester: Eric McKeegan The more aggressive of the two MAXXIS tires in this review, the Rekon+ looks much like the offspring of an Ardent/High Roller ...


Review: Santa Cruz Hightower CC

Review: Santa Cruz Hightower CC

Tester: Eric McKeegan Age: 42 Height: 5’11”, Weight: 160 lbs., Inseam: 32” Price: $2,899 frame; complete bikes from $4,599; $6,499 (tested) Sizes: M, L (tested), XL  More info: Santa Cruz Bicycles Photos: Gary Perkin Santa Cruz was very late to the 29er ballgame, but came out swinging with the Tallboy. That was soon followed by the Tallboy ...


Review: WTB Ci24 carbon rim

Review: WTB Ci24 carbon rim

Tester: Eric McKeegan Price: $550 (each) Carbon rims are becoming more and more commonplace on high-end bikes. They aren’t cheap, and these WTBs are no different, although they are on the more affordable side of the bell curve in regard to carbon rim prices. Aluminum WTB rims have proven themselves over the years; carbon from a ...


Review: White Industries XMR hubs

Review: White Industries XMR hubs

Tester: Eric McKeegan Prices: Rear — Silver $332, Black $337, Colors $352; Front — Silver $169, Black $174, Colors $189 Nice rims need nice hubs. White Industries has some nice, new hubs in these XMRs. Designed to handle any standard out there for road, mountain and cyclocross bikes, including options for Boost spacing and the ...


Review: FOX 32 Step-Cast fork

Review: FOX 32 Step-Cast fork

As forks get longer in travel, and trail and all-mountain become our favorite buzzwords, it’s refreshing to see a brand like Fox make a dedicated effort to address the cross-country segment—to the tune of shaving half a pound off its current 32 platform. You read that right: The new Fox 32 SC (Step-Cast) weighs right ...


Review: Lauf Carbonara fat/plus fork

Review: Lauf Carbonara fat/plus fork

Lauf hails from Iceland, where I’m led to believe it gets somewhat chilly. Naturally, fat bikes have erupted all over the volcanic island, and the company has adopted its leaf-spring design from its mountain bike fork into a fat bike version. It’s not just wider; it’s completely redesigned with no shared components. The carbon fiber ...


Review: Manitou Magnum fork

Review: Manitou Magnum fork

Plus-sized tires might be the next big thing in the mountain bike world, but for its latest product Mantiou reached back to its roots and revived a classic nameplate. While the original Magnum of 20 years ago used elastomers, the new model uses a version of the Dorado air spring in the left leg with ...


First Ride: Salsa Timberjack 27plus

First Ride: Salsa Timberjack 27plus

Ed note: This is part of our initial bike test of three new hardtails introduced at QBP Saddle Drive 2016, each shod with 27plus tires: the aluminum Salsa Timberjack, carbon Salsa Woodsmoke and steel Surly Karate Monkey. Despite their obvious differences, we will draw some comparisons and distinctions among the three, so make sure to ...


First Ride: Kona Big Honzo DL

First Ride: Kona Big Honzo DL

Riding photos by Caleb Smith/Kona Kona is the kind of brand that when it wants to f*ck around, it doesn’t f*ck around. It makes solid product backed by solid people who are genuinely more interested in having a great time—on and off the bike—than raking in the dough. I was lucky enough to score an ...


Review: Salsa Pony Rustler

Review: Salsa Pony Rustler

Tester: Jon Pratt Age: 45; Height: 5’10”; Weight: 190 pounds; Inseam: 31” Salsa Cycles is not one to shy away from big tires, so it is only natural to see another one of its bikes with a bit of extra rubber show up at our door for review. This time around it’s the Pony Rustler, ...


Review: Intense Primer

Review: Intense Primer

Tester: Zach White Sizes Small, Medium, Large, XL(tested) MSRP: $9499 Factory build, $6999 Pro build, $5899 Expert build Weight 25.9lbs, as tested The Bike Intense’s all new Primer will be quite familiar to Spider 29 fans, as it’s essentially a nicely updated version of the already well-sorted Intense Spider of last year. Sticking with a VPP ...


New: Intense Recluse

New: Intense Recluse

Intense added a new all-mountain bike to its fold, the Recluse. It has everything you would expect of a modern trail ripper: 150 mm front / 140 mm rear travel; 27.5 wheels with Boost dropouts; internal cable routing on a high-modulus carbon frame; fancy titanium hardware. It has the ability to run a front derailleur and ...


Review: Ryders Eyewear Face GX Glasses

Review: Ryders Eyewear Face GX Glasses

I’ve been riding with a set of Face GX cycling glasses from Ryders Eyewear for a while and felt it was about time I shared my experiences with them, with you. Besides fitting great (fit is always subjective) these unique glasses have several features that are worth discussing in detail. First, and most importantly, the lenses. The ...


New: Pivot updates the Firebird

New: Pivot updates the Firebird

The new Pivot Firebird features some of the longest reach measurements on a bike in this category, combined with super-short 16.95-inch chainstays, 65-degree head angle, 170 mm of suspension, Boost spacing, and clearance for 27.5 wheels with tires up to 2.5 inches wide. The carbon frame can reportedly be built up with a weight of less than 28 pounds. ...


Cane Creek releases DB Coil Inline, a trail bike coil shock

Cane Creek releases DB Coil Inline, a trail bike coil shock

The DBCoil [IL] is a high performance, non-piggyback, coil shock aimed squarely at the trail bike market. Cane Creek describes its features thusly: • Twin-Tube Design. -Setting the DBcoil[IL] apart, oil circulates continuously through externally adjustable shock valves. On the trail, this routing of oil translates into less fade, more control, and greater consistency making it ...


Review: Kona Process 153

Review: Kona Process 153

Tester: Justin Steiner Age: 33, Height: 5’7″, Weight: 165 lbs., Inseam: 31” Bike price: $5,000 Sizes: M, (tested) L, XL Kona first launched the Process lineup in 2013 for the 2014 model year. Since then, we’ve reviewed and revered both the 29 inch Process 111 (issue #178) and the 27.5 inch Process 134 (issue #184). Based on those ...


Review: Paul Components stuff

Review: Paul Components stuff

Tester: Stephen Haynes Paul Components has always struck me as a company born in the wrong era. They are the stuff of old school fabrication like Fender Stratocasters, Zippo lighters and straight six engines. Simple, well-designed products made to last a lifetime that have the added benefit of being easily serviced, providing you had the ...


Vintage: 1994 Fat Chance Shock-A-Billy

Vintage: 1994 Fat Chance Shock-A-Billy

Words and photos: Jeff Archer By 1994 it was becoming evident that full suspension was here to stay. Most major manufacturers had full-suspension bikes on the market, and the smaller makers were trying to keep up, with quite a few different designs coming out and varying degrees of success. Additionally, many suspension-fork makers were releasing ...


Review: five packable shell jackets

Review: five packable shell jackets

Words and photos: Adam Newman and Jon Pratt Having one of these lightweight, packable layers handy can make the difference between a miserable experience and getting home comfortably. If you’re going to put in long rides in the rain with a pack on, we recommend grabbing a jacket with tougher materials (and none of these are super-duper ...


Review: Trek Fuel EX 9.8 27plus

Review: Trek Fuel EX 9.8 27plus

Tester: Eric McKeegan Age: 42, Height: 5’11, Weight: 155, Inseam: 32 inches Price: $5,300 Sizes: 15.5, 17.5, 18.5, 19.5 (tested), 21.5 More info: Trek Fuel EX The previous generation Fuel EX was Trek’s best selling full-suspension bike. With Trek’s move to a more race-focused Top Fuel last year, it came as a surprise to see ...


Made in USA trail bike guide

Made in USA trail bike guide

If you want your next trail bike to be made in the USA but don’t want to wait a year or so for a custom project, check out this list of companies crafting stock frames in the states. Alchemy Alchemey makes the rarest of the rare, a carbon fi ber, full-suspension trail bike, the Arktos. ...


First Ride: Surly Karate Monkey singlespeed 29

First Ride: Surly Karate Monkey singlespeed 29

The old Surly Karate Monkey got a few small changes over the years but, for the most part, it was the same bike that helped 29ers gain mainstream acceptance starting in 2002. It was launched that year at the very event we’re now detoxing from (Interbike). We covered the new Karate Monkey earlier this year and brought ...


First Ride: Surly Krampus

First Ride: Surly Krampus

Folklore describes the Krampus as a half-goat, half-demon Christmas wrecker that punishes children who are bad and will not be getting a visit from Saint Nick. If misbehaving is wrong, I don’t want to be right. The new Surly Krampus is too much fun for that nonsense. The Krampus roared to life five years ago as one of ...


Review: Santa Cruz Tallboy

Review: Santa Cruz Tallboy

Tester: Jon Pratt Age: 46 | Height: 5’10” | Weight: 190 lbs. | Inseam: 32” Price: $6,500 Sizes: S, M, L (tested), XL, XXL More info: Santa Cruz Bicycles  The Tallboy from Santa Cruz Bicycles has always been a class favorite 29er. It was just getting a little long in the tooth. So with knowledge ...


Review: Surly Dirt Wizard 29×3 tire

Review: Surly Dirt Wizard 29×3 tire

Tester: Eric McKeegan Price: $90 (120 TPI version) Plus size tires have mostly stuck to the “buncha small knobs” design brief. While this has been surprisingly effective, sometimes terrain and riding styles call for some big, sturdy knobs. The Surly Dirt Wizard answers that call with a mean-looking tread pattern and aggressive cornering knobs. Looks ...


Review: 661 Evo Am MIPS helmet

Review: 661 Evo Am MIPS helmet

Tester: Jon Pratt Price: $200 (MIPS), $150 (non-MIPS) Sizing: XS/S 54-56 cm, M/L 57-59 cm, XL/XXL 60-62 cm Helmets are meant to keep you safe, and the 661 Evo Am MIPS helmet relies on two modern technologies to do just that. First, 661 uses Contego EPS foam instead of the standard EPS foam. Contego incorporates ...


Review: Magura Vyron wireless dropper post

Review: Magura Vyron wireless dropper post

Tester: Eric McKeegan Price: $500 Wireless actuation of devices is well-established in the tech world, but Magura is one of few using it in the bike world. While some might expect my normally curmudgeonly self to be grumpy about the complexity of an electronic system replacing mechanical devices, I’m willing to make an exception for ...


Review: Ibis Mojo 3

Review: Ibis Mojo 3

Tester: Mike Cushionbury Age: 46 Height: 5’10” Weight: 157 lbs. Inseam: 32” Price: $6,199 (as tested), $2,999 (frame and shock only) Sizes: S, M, (tested) L, XL More: Ibis Cycles It’s been just over 10 years since the legendary Ibis Mojo 2 was released. At that time it was one of the most definitive trail ...


Review: Kona Hei Hei Race DL

Review: Kona Hei Hei Race DL

Tester: Katherine Fuller Age: 30 Height: 5’4″ Weight: 120 lbs. Inseam: 31” Price: $4,200 Sizes: S, (Tested), M, L, XL Online: Kona Bikes I laughed when the powers that be said I was getting a “race” bike to test because racing is not exactly my thing, but it immediately became apparent that approaching this review ...


First Ride: 2017 Kona Operator

First Ride: 2017 Kona Operator

Photos by Caleb Smith and the author. Let me start this out with some honesty. The last time I was on a downhill hike was almost two years ago, and even then I was nursing a torn rotator cuff. While I’ve always enjoyed true DH riding, it doesn’t happen very often, so keep that in ...


First Ride: 2017 Rocky Mountain Slayer 790 MSL

First Ride: 2017 Rocky Mountain Slayer 790 MSL

by Zach White Weight: 29.5lbs with pedals, size Large Sizes: Small, Medium, Large(tested), XL MSRP:  $6999   After a couple of years out of the rotation, Rocky Mountain is putting Slayer back into the mix. This is where it’d be appropriate to reminisce of the original Slayer models and share little tidbits of personal experience ...


Two Cool (And Very Opposite) Riding Kits

Two Cool (And Very Opposite) Riding Kits

Conation Collective Conation Collective is a new, Colorado based boutique clothing manufacturer that specializes in high-end “western” look apparel. While the brand sources top quality materials from France, Italy and Australia, it’s all sent to the U.S., where the clothing is designed, printed and constructed. Founder Matt Hayes is a long-time industry veteran with the ...


First Impression: Salsa Woodsmoke 29+ X01

First Impression: Salsa Woodsmoke 29+ X01

Salsa describes the Woodsmoke as a “singletrack/bikepacking/off road exploration” bike. That’s a wide-ranging job description, but the carbon fiber Woodsmoke is an exercise in versatility. The same frame is offered in 29er, 27plus or 29plus builds. Salsa sent us the Woodsmoke 29+ X01 model, which rolls on 29plus rubber. This resourceful rig is well-equipped for ...


First Impression: Trek Farley EX 9.8

First Impression: Trek Farley EX 9.8

Trek designed the Farley EX 9.8 to be a year-round bike capable enough to tackle any trail or weather condition. Fortunately I got my hands on this beauty at just the right time, as we transitioned between a glorious fall and bitter winter. I figured the large 3.8″ 27plus tubeless tires would be a welcome ...


First Impression: Viral Skeptic

First Impression: Viral Skeptic

The new Viral Skeptic is not your ordinarily hardtail. And before you get huffy about that weird looking black box nestled in the bottom bracket junction, it’s not an electric motor but a 12-speed internal gearbox made by German company Pinion. The Taiwan-made frame is beautifully executed, with clean welds and a seat tube port ...


How to rebuild a vintage Silca floor pump

How to rebuild a vintage Silca floor pump

Words and photos by Chris Klibowitz. While much of our society is focused on affordable—and unfortunately disposable—products, there are many within the cycling community still producing high-quality, heirloom pieces. It’s no surprise that the revitalized Silca—a brand rescued from Italy and relocated to Indiana—fits that bill, as most of us have one of their old ...


First Impression: Cannondale Bad Habit Carbon 1

First Impression: Cannondale Bad Habit Carbon 1

Cannondale’s Bad Habit could not have rolled into our Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania headquarters at a more appropriate time. As the trails began their late-season transition into an array of conditions from pristine hard packed to mud, slop and snow, the Bad Habit was ready to impress. On more than a handful of occasions, I found myself ...


Review: Scott Big Jon Fat Bike

Review: Scott Big Jon Fat Bike

Words and photos by Zach White It seemed fitting to have a budget-oriented fat bike show up at the doorstep the day after getting back from riding a handful of various all-carbon, high-end fat bikes in Crested Butte during Fat Bike World Championships. Pedaling $5000+ fat bikes around in big, mellow, snowy loops at a ...


First Impression: Marin Hawk Hill

First Impression: Marin Hawk Hill

At $1,499 the 27.5 Hawk Hill may be the lowest-priced bike in our upcoming group test of under-$2,500 full-suspension trail bikes, but it’s far from overmatched. Judicious use of house-branded components keeps the budget tight, without cutting corners on important bits such as the Shimano Deore Shadow Plus derailleur, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and high-quality ...


First Impression: Trek Fuel EX 7

First Impression: Trek Fuel EX 7

The Trek Fuel EX 7 exceeds the price limit of our $2,500 Trail Bike round up by a measly hundred bucks, but we decided it was so well spec’d that we couldn’t pass it up. For the current generation, Trek increased the Fuel EX to 130 mm of travel, giving it more aggressive trail geometry. ...


Review: Fat Bike Ski

Review: Fat Bike Ski

Words and photos by Zach White Ask anyone who’s ridden a fat bike in snow, and if they’re the honest type, they’ll tell you how finicky the bikes are about conditions. Specifically, if the snow isn’t hardpacked, riding will be difficult, if not impossible. On soft, ungroomed trail, front tires don’t offer much float or ...


First Ride: Bontrager Mountain Bike Shorts

First Ride: Bontrager Mountain Bike Shorts

Wisconsin is not the sort of place from which you’d expect to receive a package of riding apparel that also included warm and sunny February weather to facilite testing. But, lucky me, that’s exactly what happened when UPS delivered a selection of Bontrager’s 2017 spring/summer mountain bike apparel. Magically, Pittsburgh experienced a series of sunny(ish) days that ...


New stuff from Shimano, RockShox, Cane Creek and e13

New stuff from Shimano, RockShox, Cane Creek and e13

New Stuff for your approval, early March edition. The springtime release of new products has begun and things got hot and heavy the last few weeks. Here is a digest of a few noteworthy new product releases. Shimano Deore group and SLX 11-46 cassette In a somewhat surprising move, Shimano released a new Deore group. ...


Review: REEB Reebdonkadonk Fat Bike

Review: REEB Reebdonkadonk Fat Bike

Words and photos by Zach White There’s a big part of me that wants to give REEB a huge middle finger of a review due to the simple fact that there was no Oskar Blues beer offered while picking up or dropping off our REEBdonkadonk loaner at their bike-and-taco shop, CyleHops CANtina (Editor’s Note: This ...


NAHBS 2017: Day 1 Photo Dump

NAHBS 2017: Day 1 Photo Dump

Hello from Salt Lake City! We’re here at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, checking out some highly unique and interesting bikes and bike-related things from builders around the country and world. This is personally my first time at the show, but it’s been one that I’ve been hearing about for the past several years. ...


Some Interesting Bikes of NAHBS 2017

Some Interesting Bikes of NAHBS 2017

There was no shortage of cool bikes to be seen at NAHBS this year. While it’s impossible for me to pick my absolute favorite, there are definitely a number that I noticed and appreciated for one reason or another. Here are just a few of them, with more to come. Oddity Cycles I really liked all ...


Michelin launches four new XC and all-mountain tires

Michelin launches four new XC and all-mountain tires

Words and photos by Zach White Michelin’s mountain bike program has been busy in the last few years creating and fine-tuning four new tire models that multiply to a total model count of sixteen new products when the various wheel sizes and widths are thrown into the count. While the Jet XCR, Force XC, Force ...


Santa Cruz Chameleon returns as a 29/27plus trail hardtail

Santa Cruz Chameleon returns as a 29/27plus trail hardtail

Words by Zach White, photos by Gary Perkin MSRP $2,000 (R Kit) Sizes S, M, L(tested), XL Available Now As the name suggests, Santa Cruz’s Chameleon has historically been a frame that’s adapted to various riding styles quite well. Over the years, I’ve seen them built up as dirt jumpers, singlespeed trail bikes, freeride hardtails, ...


Win a SR Suntour Auron RC2 PCS fork

Win a SR Suntour Auron RC2 PCS fork

Contest ended. Congrats to Neil Aiello of South Plainfield, NJ ! We’re sorry The promotion you are trying to access has ended. SR Suntour has partnered with us to give one lucky winner a Auron 34 or Auron 35 RC2 PCS  suspension fork! Enter to win below.       Auron 34 or Auron 35 RC2 PCS– ...


Review: Viral Skeptic

Review: Viral Skeptic

Tester: Mike Cushionbury × Age: 47 × Height: 5’10” × Weight: 155 lbs. × Inseam: 32” One thing is for certain, the new Viral Skeptic is not your ordinary hardtail. And before you get huffy about that weird looking black box nestled in the bottom bracket junction, it’s not an electric motor but a 12-speed ...


Review: SE Racing OM-Duro

Review: SE Racing OM-Duro

Tester: Eric McKeegan × Age: 42 × Height: 5’11” × Weight: 165 lbs. × Inseam: 32” This bike seems to speak to a lot of riders on an almost genetic level. Perhaps it is because BMX bikes are buried deep in the DNA of every mountain bike and every mountain biker. How do I know ...


Win a pair of Five Ten Hellcat shoes

Win a pair of Five Ten Hellcat shoes

Contest ended. Congrats to Christopher Worrell of Yellow Springs, OH! We’re sorry The promotion you are trying to access has ended. Win a pair of Five Ten Hellcat shoes! Enter to win below. The 2017 Hellcat is a lighter and lower-profile version of our classic Hellcat. Its upper is a combination of leather and synthetic for durability and breathability. ...


Review: Lezyne Super GPS

Review: Lezyne Super GPS

Tester: Mike Cushionbury Lezyne has been touting its entrance into the GPS market for quite some time and with good reason. The avant-garde pump, tool and accessory maker has released a smart looking, useful and easy to use 76 gram GPS. All the important features are here starting with a chip that combines GPS and ...


Review: Yeti SB4.5c

Review: Yeti SB4.5c

Words and photos by Zach White Age:42 x Height: 6’2″ x Weight: 200 lbs. x Inseam: 32” “Hey man, sweet bike!” As a bike whore, er, “product reviewer,” I get an interesting perspective on brands and their reputation. There are times when I’ll ride a completely dialed and worthy bike for months on trails shotgunned ...


Win a Thule DoubleTrack Pro

Win a Thule DoubleTrack Pro

Contest ended. Congrats to Brandy Smith of Guymon, OK! We’re sorry The promotion you are trying to access has ended.   Thule has partnered with us to give one winner a Thule DoubleTrack Pro 2-bike hitch rack! Enter to win below. Lightweight, platform hitch bike rack that is perfect for a variety of bikes, keeping them ...


First Impression: Kona Honzo CR Trail DL

First Impression: Kona Honzo CR Trail DL

Kona knocked it out of the park with the Honzo CR Trail DL. Featuring a stealth matte black finish, aggressive all-mountain geometry and a reasonably lightweight package, this Honzo is a grand slam. It took all but five minutes on my initial ride to develop an attachment, which quickly led to confirming with our Tech Editor ...


Win a Zoic Empire Prize Package

Win a Zoic Empire Prize Package

Contest ended. Congrats to Jim Iannazzi of Indiana, PA! We’re sorry The promotion you are trying to access has ended. Win a Zoic Empire Jersey, Gloves and Water Bottle. Enter to win below. Dominate spring riding with The Empire Prize Package from ZOIC! Stake your claim as the master of your domain in the Empire Jersey ($65 ...


First ride: 2018 Fox 36

First ride: 2018 Fox 36

Both FOX and RockShox have been moving to larger negative spring in rear shocks, and now we see them moving to forks as well. The 2018 36 has a new EVOL air spring that promises “plushness off the top, extra midstroke support, and more tunable bottom-out progression.” I’ve been riding a new 36 the past few ...


First Ride: Marin Wolf Ridge

First Ride: Marin Wolf Ridge

Marin promised something truly new when the invite went out to attend a pre-Sea Otter media camp. The Wolf Ridge delivers on that. Using the NAILED R3ACT-2 PLAY suspension design, Marin claims to have created a 160 mm-travel 29er that pedals and handles well enough to be the “one bike” to ride anywhere and everywhere. ...


First Look: Wolf Tooth B-RAD system

First Look: Wolf Tooth B-RAD system

Wolf Tooth’s B-RAD, aka Be-Rad or Bottle Relocation and Accessory Device, is a versatile system for organizing your water bottles and other essentials using bottle cage mounts. The system is built on three different mounting bases of varying sizes. The B-RAD 2 simply allows you to move a bottle cage to an optimal position on ...


Sea Otter Classic: Growlers, bad hombres and more

Sea Otter Classic: Growlers, bad hombres and more

The Sea Otter Classic is more than just a mecca for bikes. Going out and finding those non-bike items is one of my personal goals. DRINKTANKS offers two sizes of growlers; a 64oz and a 128oz. They are double wall insulated, come in multiple color choices and they offer a Keg Cap Accessory Kit. The kit comes with a ...


Sea Otter Classic: Kids bikes and little shredders

Sea Otter Classic: Kids bikes and little shredders

The number of companies making kid-specific bikes is continuously growing. Rather than simply seeing smaller (yet heavy) versions of adult bikes with cheap components, we are starting to notice a movement towards high quality rigs for kids. There were several new brands and models at Sea Otter this year. Prevelo Prevelo launched just two weeks before ...


Sea Otter Classic: Gravel gets suspended

Sea Otter Classic: Gravel gets suspended

It’s no secret that drop bar gravel riding and racing is hitting its stride and that’s even more apparent by the influx of custom bikes popping up within the bike industry. While most if not all production versions resemble cyclocross bikes rather than mountain bikes, clever insiders are pushing the concept of making custom, more ...


Sea Otter Classic 2017: Bits and Pieces

Sea Otter Classic 2017: Bits and Pieces

A few of the interesting things we saw at the 2017 Sea Otter Classic: WTB Byway The Byway is a 27.5×47 tire, part of WTB’s “Road Plus” line. With the same casing as the Horizon, this new tire has some cornering knobs and file tread for better dirt action. We’ve got a set in for ...


Sea Otter Classic 2017: Bits and Pieces, Part 2

Sea Otter Classic 2017: Bits and Pieces, Part 2

Just a few more random things we saw at the 2017 Sea Otter Classic: Reynolds Wheels The Bernard Kerr limited edition 27.5 wheelset from Reynolds is designed for heavy-duty downhill and enduro riding. An asymmetric carbon rim allows for increased spoke tension for better ride quality and durability. This wheelset also features a 32 mm hookless ...


Review: Gore apparel – jacket, pants, shorts and gloves

Review: Gore apparel – jacket, pants, shorts and gloves

By Zach White A February trip to Northern England  to ride mountain bikes had me second-guessing the wet-weather gear stuffed deep in the back of the closet. An impressive array of foul-weather kit by most standards, the idea of riding day after day in near freezing, wet, windy, and potentially wholeheartedly miserable conditions if unprepared ...


New Bontrager XC and Trail wheelsets debut at Sea Otter Classic

New Bontrager XC and Trail wheelsets debut at Sea Otter Classic

For 2017, Bontrager has added new Trail and XC wheelset options at an affordable price point. Line Pro 30 TLR Line Elite 30 TLR Line Comp 30 TLR Kovee Elite 23 TLR $1,200 $600 $300 $700 27.5” – 1539g 29” – 1608g 27.5” – 1708g 29” – 1794g 27.5” – 1978g 29” – 2080g 27.5” ...


Review: Four different hip packs

Review: Four different hip packs

Fanny packs, hip packs, bum bags. Call them what you want, but these things are making a comeback. Less cumbersome and sweaty than a backpack, more capacity than shoving stuff in pockets, these bags can be a great middle ground for those middle distance rides. Unless I need to carry a camera, you’ll rarely see ...


Review: Salsa Woodsmoke 29+ X01

Review: Salsa Woodsmoke 29+ X01

“Salsa—you have made some risky decisions before, but this time you have gone too far.” That quip is a sample of the feedback that Salsa received after the Woodsmoke launch. The company’s marketing manager admitted that the Woodsmoke pushed the boundaries as to what people expected from Salsa. He went on to say, “Mountain biking ...


First Impression: Kona Hei Hei Trail DL 27.5

First Impression: Kona Hei Hei Trail DL 27.5

  The 140 mm-travel “Trail” variant represents a new 27.5 branch on a Hei Hei family tree that is deeply rooted in cross-country riding. Our $5,999 DL model occupies the middle price point, with the $7,499 Supreme perching on the top rung and the plain old Trail ringing the register at $4,199. Kona designed the ...


First Impression: Jamis Dragonfly 26+ Pro

First Impression: Jamis Dragonfly 26+ Pro

The Jamis Dragonfly is a 26plus steel hardtail designed as a women’s-specific bike, featuring a shorter top tube in relation to seat tube, lower standover height, a shorter wheelbase and smaller sizing than its counterpart, the Dragonslayer. The Dragonfly comes in two different models—Sport and Pro. I tested out the Pro, which upgrades from the Sport with ...


Review: Giro Switchblade MIPS

Review: Giro Switchblade MIPS

By Zach White The idea of a more protectively versatile helmet isn’t anything new, as Giro points to its debut of the original Switchblade with a removable chin guard in 1998 as an example. Giro’s latest Switchblade MIPS is a much stouter distant cousin of the original helmet of the late ‘90s, boasting CPSC, EN ...


Review: Cannondale Bad Habit Carbon 1

Review: Cannondale Bad Habit Carbon 1

When the Cannondale Bad Habit Carbon 1 rolled into HQ, I was skeptical at first. Big ol’ meaty 27plus tires, 120 mm of front and rear squish, the fork was missing its right half, and a dropper. For Pete’s sake, a dropper! I admit, my skepticism was likely driven by the fact that all of ...


Review: Jones Plus

Review: Jones Plus

For the uninitiated, Jeff Jones has long sought to built the best non-suspended mountain bike in the world, without consideration for trends, gimmicks or nostalgia. His latest model, the Plus, is made in Taiwan from butted chromoly with a Boost 148 rear axle and available in three sizes, two with a diamond frame and a ...


This Just In: Pivot introduces 2018 Mach 5.5 Carbon

This Just In: Pivot introduces 2018 Mach 5.5 Carbon

Pivot Cycles was launched in 2007 with the aluminum Mach 4 and 5. According to founder and chief engineer Chris Cocalis this new trail bike builds on that original legacy, one of constantly innovating. The brand’s first carbon bike was the Mach 5.7. “In 2011 we launched Mach 5.7 Carbon as a 2012 product and ...


Paul Camp wows “journos” with blue bits, bike rides, beer

Paul Camp wows “journos” with blue bits, bike rides, beer

I have a warm place in my heart for Paul. Just look at that happy camper. Paul Components and Dirt Rag Magazine both started in 1989 and we’re both pushing 30 years as companies. We met at Interbike before either of us were big enough to even have a booth. And we’ve grown together over the years ...


Win an Ergon SMA3 saddle and GA2 grips

Win an Ergon SMA3 saddle and GA2 grips

Contest ended. Congrats to Tony Dlouhy of Niles, MI! We’re sorry the promotion you are trying to access has ended. Ergon has partnered with us to give one winner a SMA3 saddle and a pair of GA2 grips! Enter to win below. Two products. One goal. Elevating your all-mountain experience by enhancing your ergonomic needs. The GA2 ...


Review: RSD Wildcat

Review: RSD Wildcat

Rubber Side Down isn’t a new brand, but it has quietly built an ever-expanding series of mountain bikes. Previously, those bikes have all been hardtails, but 2017 brings the Wildcat, a full-suspension departure from RSD’s hardtail homogeneity. As is the case with those hardtails, RSD’s first foray into full-suspension is distinctive, to say the least. ...


Review: Two MTB shoes you can walk in

Review: Two MTB shoes you can walk in

Words and photos by Adam Newman Remember when clipless mountain bike shoes were terrible? It wasn’t that long ago that most were just glorified road bike shoes with rock-hard soles and even harder plastic nubs glued to the bottom that gouged up your floor and turned every smooth surface into a skating rink. Or worse, ...


First Ride -Fox DPX2 – twin tube air shock for aggressive trail bikes

First Ride -Fox DPX2 – twin tube air shock for aggressive trail bikes

The Float X was feeling a bit off the back these days. With the DH-worthy Float X2 holding down the gravity racing side of the spectrum, and the newish Float DPS supporting the XC side, the Float X was never a terrible shock, but it felt and looked outdated. It’s large size and barely-accessible rebound ...


Win a Kryptonite Stronghold Anchor and New York Fahgettaboudit Chain 1415 and New Your Disc Lock

Win a Kryptonite Stronghold Anchor and New York Fahgettaboudit Chain 1415 and New Your Disc Lock

Contest ended. Congrats to Braxton Francom of Lehi, UT! We’re sorry the promotion you are trying to access has ended. Kryptonite has partnered with us to give one winner a Stronghold Anchor & New York Fahgettaboudit Chain 1415 & New Your Disc Lock. Enter to win below. The Ultimate Mountain Bike Security Package! Whether bolted to the cement ...


Review: Kona Honzo CR Trail DL

Review: Kona Honzo CR Trail DL

Tester: Scott Williams Age: 31 Height: 5’10” Weight: 175 lbs Inseam: 32″ Back in 2012, Kona unleashed the Honzo, an aggressive all-mountain steel hardtail featuring geometry that was long, low and slack before those aggressive angles were common among trail bikes. After spending some time aboard my friend’s Honzo, I felt like it suited my ...


First Ride Review: Intense Carbine

First Ride Review: Intense Carbine

By Zach White  Monster truck. If Dirt Rag would allow for a two-word review, that’d be the summary of Intense’s new 29-inch, 160 mm/155 mm front/rear travel Carbine. From the flashy, neon paint job to the ability to roll right over anything it was pointed at in Sedona, Arizona, last month for the Magura/Intense press ...


Review: Pedaling Innovations Catalyst Pedals

Review: Pedaling Innovations Catalyst Pedals

By Jon Pratt I switch back and forth between clipless and platform pedals to test various shoe / pedal combinations at work, but when I’m out riding for pure pleasure, you’ll find me on flats more often than not. I’ve always liked the ability to adjust my foot position based on the terrain I’m riding, ...


Win a Ryders Eyewear RYDERS FYRE- Lens

Win a Ryders Eyewear RYDERS FYRE- Lens

Contest ended. Congrats to Sarah Holland of Moody, AL ! We’re sorry the promotion you are trying to access has ended. Ryders Eyewear has partnered with us to give one winner a RYDERS FYRE- Lens. Enter to win below. The five most innovative advancements in sports optics, packed into one lens. Developed in partnership with Essilor® ...


Review: Raleigh Stuntman

Review: Raleigh Stuntman

Tester: Eric McKeegan Age: 43 Height: 5’11” Weight: 165 lbs. Inseam: 32” Self, you need to go for a ride.” “Yeah, but I have to finish writing this review and box up a bike and do some laundry and think about dinner and, and, and, and.” “Shut up.” “Hey asshole, watch it, we’ve both got ...


Review: Problem Solvers Zinger

Review: Problem Solvers Zinger

In the days of old, the Shimano freehub body standard was universally used in most hubs (we are not counting Campagnolo; after all, this is a mountain bike magazine). SRAM’s XD driver threw that standard out the window with a new design that accommodates a 10 tooth cog. No more interchangeability between SRAM and Shimano ...


Review: Pivot Switchblade Pro XT/XTR 1x

Review: Pivot Switchblade Pro XT/XTR 1x

Tester: Eric McKeegan Age: 43 Height: 5’11” Weight: 165 lbs. Inseam: 32” At first glance, the Pivot Switchblade doesn’t seem to be much different than bikes with similar travel numbers and 29/27plus wheel compatibility. But look closely and you’ll start to see a lot of small differences that add up to a compelling machine. Those ...


Win an Osprey Raptor 10 Hydration Backpack

Win an Osprey Raptor 10 Hydration Backpack

Contest ended. Congrats to Joel Hauschild of Council Bluffs, IA! We’re sorry the promotion you are trying to access has ended. Osprey has partnered with us to give one winner a Raptor 10 Hydration backpack. Enter to win below. You’ll love the way Osprey’s Raptor 10 carries when you’re riding rough, technical terrain thanks to the BioStretch- harness ...


Win an SR SUNTOUR Auron 35 or 34 RC2 PCS Fork

Win an SR SUNTOUR Auron 35 or 34 RC2 PCS Fork

Contest ended. Congrats to Robby Bennett of Calera, AL! We’re sorry the promotion you are trying to access has ended. SR SUNTOUR has partnered with us to give one winner a Auron 35 or 34 RC2 PCS Fork. Enter to win below. The Auron is our multitool trail fork. We designed it to perform to task ...


Win a Framed Bikes Marquette Alloy bike

Win a Framed Bikes Marquette Alloy bike

Contest ended. Congrats to Donna Fulton of Chalmette, LA.! We’re sorry the promotion you are trying to access has ended. Framed Bikes has partnered with us to give one winner a Framed Marquette Alloy Bike. Enter to win below!  The Framed Marquette aluminum alloy frame with a 148 x 12 thru axle is held sturdy ...


Blast From The Past: In Tribute to Super Dave Osborne

Blast From The Past: In Tribute to Super Dave Osborne

I’d been dreaming about creating a badass sound system for a mountain bike ever since I learned about the scraper bikes that prowl the streets of Oakland, California, adorned with custom, high-wattage stereos. Setting my sights for an annual, underground mountain bike event, I dove into my dank basement workshop, armed with a pile of ...


First Ride: Heller Barghest

First Ride: Heller Barghest

Heller Bikes launched last year as a QBP-affiliated brand that aims to give the customer “the best bang for the buck” and create quality bikes at an affordable (relatively-speaking) price point. The brand’s first bike was the Bloodhound carbon fatbike, soon followed by the Shagamaw, a 27plus carbon hardtail. For Saddle Drive this year, the ...


Review: Scott Spark 950

Review: Scott Spark 950

Tester: Mike Cushionbury Age: 47 Height: 5’10” Weight: 158 lbs. Inseam: 32” Scott’s revamped Spark line is vast and thorough. It hosts 39 models all based on a new-single pivot rocker-link suspension design and the elimination of links at the dropouts. Included in the lineup are options to choose 27.5 or 29 inch wheels at ...


Review: Jamis Dragonfly 26+ Pro

Review: Jamis Dragonfly 26+ Pro

Tester: Helena Kotala Age: 27 Height: 5’3” Weight: 127 lbs. Inseam: 29” The Jamis Dragonfly is a little bit of everything. Parts of it seem decidedly old-school, like a steel hardtail frame and 26 inch wheels. But these seemingly archaic standards are combined with modern geometry, boost spacing, a dropper post and plus tires to ...


Review: Salsa Deadwood SUS XT 1 x 11

Review: Salsa Deadwood SUS XT 1 x 11

Tester: Eric McKeegan Age: 43 Height: 5’11” Weight: 160 lbs. Inseam: 32″ There is no getting around it, the Deadwood SUS is perhaps the weirdest full-suspension bike released by a major player in a long time, for a number of reasons. There is little that is normal about this bike. The name, geometry, suspension travel, wheel ...


How to: Pack for a backcountry bikepacking trip

How to: Pack for a backcountry bikepacking trip

Words by Jeffrey Stern, photos by Dylan Jones One of the best things about mountain biking is planning for the excitement and adventure of escape. Escape from the real world, into mountains and pastures unknown that can lead to any number of amazing experiences. Simply planning an overnight trip of any magnitude stirs the pot ...


First Ride: Rocky Mountain Instinct 29

First Ride: Rocky Mountain Instinct 29

By Zach White  Being thrown on a brand new, completely unfamiliar and slightly wrong sized bike, and expected to follow a Canadian cross-country legend on his backyard trails could’ve gone a few different ways. Luckily for me, Rocky Mountain’s new Instinct 29 is an easy bike to adapt to, and maybe Dre Hestler was being ...


First Impression: Kona Unit

First Impression: Kona Unit

By Adam Newman Ah yes, the Kona Unit. At once the least glamorous and most amorous model in the Kona lineup. A no-frills, knobby tire gateway drug for the masses. The Unit may be simple but it has changed through the years, and for 2017 Kona is showing off its versatility by swapping out the ...


Review: Kona Hei Hei Trail DL 27.5

Review: Kona Hei Hei Trail DL 27.5

Tester: Karl Rosengarth Age: 59 Height: 5’10” Weight: 150 lbs. Inseam: 32” As the industry continues to dive headfirst into the longer-lower-slacker deep end, Kona, despite having a big part in creating this trend in the first place, takes a step back from the edge with the Hei Hei Trail. Instead of a carbon version ...


Review: Suntour Auron PCS RC2 fork

Review: Suntour Auron PCS RC2 fork

By Eric McKeegan The Auron fork isn’t new, but the PCS damper is a new addition to the Auron lineup. PCS stands for Piston Compensator System. The piston in question keeps the air and oil separated inside the damping cartridge. The piston is spring-loaded to be able to move (compensate) for changes in oil volume ...


Review: Soma Juice

Review: Soma Juice

By Eric McKeegan Some things just go together. Cream cheese and bagels. Peanut butter and chocolate. Harleys and guys dressed like pirates. Soma and steel. Soma has been turning out high-quality steel frames to fill niches in the industry for years, and the newest version of the Juice updates this hardtail with more wheel size ...


Shimano Goes Electric: First ride on the E8000 STePS e-bike drivetrain

Shimano Goes Electric: First ride on the E8000 STePS e-bike drivetrain

Words by Kurt Gensheimer, photos by Colin Meagher I’ve hauled ass down Baby Heads more times in my life than I can count, a thrilling high-speed jeep road descent that’s a staple of the Downieville Classic Cross Country race. It’s a trail that claims countless tires, rims and even bodies, because slamming into baby head ...


First Impression: Pivot LES

First Impression: Pivot LES

When Pivot made subtle updates to their LES for 2017, the sliding dropouts and sub 70º head angle which made the LES a crowd pleaser when it first came to fruition in 2012 remained intact. As Gordon “Quadsworth” Wadsworth, the 3x National Ultra Endurance (NUE) Series singlespeed champion states, “Budda don’t need no grease.” With ...


First Ride: Kona Process G2 153

First Ride: Kona Process G2 153

The news we’ve all been waiting for: Carbon Process! OK, maybe not EVERYONE was waiting, but there is no arguing that the high-end trail and all-mountain markets are dominated by carbon-framed bikes, and the Process line, while being some sweet riding bikes, weren’t on the radar of the carbon-ravenous among us. Obviously, this isn’t just ...


First Ride: 2018 Specialized Enduro

First Ride: 2018 Specialized Enduro

By Zach White Specialized listened to feedback from riders about both the 27.5 and 29 Enduros and made some small geometry adjustments for 2018. Tired of hearing “lower, longer, slacker”? Too bad, because that’s a big part of what changed. Stack heights see a slight reduction, reaches stretch 5-15 mm, and the head tube angle ...


Ride Review: Marin B-17 3

Ride Review: Marin B-17 3

The pickings were pretty slim at Interbike’s Outdoor Demo this year, especially if you didn’t want to just ride e-bikes all day, which I didn’t (I did try one out – it was alright but didn’t offer the same satisfaction as riding a human-powered bicycle). Luckily, Marin was around with a full fleet of non-e-bikes. Rather than ...


Review: Santa Cruz Chameleon

Review: Santa Cruz Chameleon

Tester: Zach White Age: 42 Weight: 200 lbs. Height: 6’ 2” Inseam: 32” As the name suggests, Santa Cruz’s Chameleon has historically been a frame that’s adapted to various riding styles quite well. Over the years, I’ve seen them built up as dirt jumpers, singlespeed trail bikes, freeride hardtails, townies, and even straightforward trail bikes ...


Review: RockShox Pike RTC3

Review: RockShox Pike RTC3

Back in the mid-2000s, the Pike was a nondescript 32 mm chassis fork. It developed a bit of a cult following but didn’t really separate itself from its field of competitors. It wasn’t until 2013 that RockShox put the rest of the suspension world on notice with the 35 mm chassis Pike. Not only was ...


Review: Fox Factory Series 36 Float 29 HSC/LSC

Review: Fox Factory Series 36 Float 29 HSC/LSC

Two thousand grams. 4.4 pounds. That’s it. That’s all this fork weighs. A fork that has smashed its way to multiple Enduro World Series victories, endless laps in bike parks, and countless sketchy descents. If nothing else, the fact that a 160 mm-travel 29er fork can weigh less than a Chihuahua and still be capable ...


Review: 2017 Shimano Deore XT Di2

Review: 2017 Shimano Deore XT Di2

Words by Mike Cushionbury, photos by Eric McKeegan  When Shimano introduced its XTR Di2 electronic shifting system two years ago it was obvious that this technology would trickle down to the more affordable, second tier Deore XT. As in the past, trickle-down tech from XTR gets tweaked and improved when it reaches XT. In this ...


Review: Ketl women’s shirts and baggy shorts

Review: Ketl women’s shirts and baggy shorts

Clothes: it is suggested to wear them when riding bikes. Good to know. All jokes aside (not possible!), I got my hands on a few of items from the relatively new brand Ketl Mountain Apparel. The two collaborators behind the brand came from the outdoor industry and have taken some attributes from outdoor specific apparel ...


Review: Ketl women’s bib shorts

Review: Ketl women’s bib shorts

Let’s face it ladies, sometimes we have to take a nature break on the trail. I would say that more often than not I have to pop a squat during a ride, so it’s important to me that this be a simple and efficient process. This used to be a deterrent for bib-wearing, but in ...


Review: Marin Hawk Hill 27.5

Review: Marin Hawk Hill 27.5

Tester: Karl Rosengarth Age: 59 Height: 5’10” Weight: 150 lbs. Inseam: 32” The 27.5 Hawk Hill is an entry-level bike that passes muster. The frame is built from 6061 butted and hydroformed aluminum alloy. Judicious use of house-branded components saves money without cutting corners on important bits such as the Shimano Deore Shadow Plus derailleur, ...


First impression: Carver Ti All-Road

First impression: Carver Ti All-Road

Carver’s Ti All-Road is a mountain biker’s road bike. It’s more than ready for rough road rambles, gravel grinds and singletrack shortcuts. Built from 3/2.5 titanium alloy, the All-Road comes with a lifetime warranty and crash replacement discount. Stock frames come in 2 cm size increments (from 44-62 cm) and retail for $1,400. For $200 ...


Review: Specialized Fuse Expert Carbon 6Fattie

Review: Specialized Fuse Expert Carbon 6Fattie

Tester: Stephen Haynes Age: 39 Height: 5’11” Weight: 210 lbs Inseam: 30” If acceptance into our popular culture is predicated on a product or brands’ appearance in a Wal-Mart store, then 27plus as a wheel size has arrived. I noted this arrival on a recent trip to the purveyor of all things cheap and excessive ...


Review: Trek Fuel EX 7 29

Review: Trek Fuel EX 7 29

Tester: Scott Williams Age: 31 Height: 5’10” Weight: 170 lbs. Inseam: 32” Trek upped the ante once more for the current Fuel EX lineup, looking to fulfill the one bike to rule them all prophecy. Deciding to step back from the prior generation’s long-legged cross-country-esque geometry, the new Fuel EX became more trail aggressive and ...


Review: Fuji Rakan 29 3.7

Review: Fuji Rakan 29 3.7

Tester: Jon Pratt Age: 46 Height: 5’10.5” Weight: 190 lbs. Inseam: 31” The Fuji Rakan moves deeper into trail bike territory for 2017. It shares the same frame as the 2016 model, but beefs up with sturdier wheels, tires and suspension. This tacks on a bit of weight but creates a bike designed to tackle ...


Review: Gregory Packs Drift 6

Review: Gregory Packs Drift 6

The Drift 6 from Gregory Packs is your standard everyday go-to pack. At 5 liters, it’s large enough to pack your camera, a few snacks and an extra pair of gloves, but can’t quite stuff them all in your pockets. The bag features three internal zippered compartments—the hydration compartment, the main compartment with three mesh ...


Review: Proudfoot Primed

Review: Proudfoot Primed

Tester: Helena Kotala Age: 27 Weight: 127 lbs. Height: 5’3” Inseam: 29” I’ve never ridden a bike that has elicited more stares, compliments and questions than the Proudfoot Primed, a steel full-suspension trail rig from a small made-to-order bike building operation in Golden, Colorado. Aside from the eye-catching purple powdercoat (the official color is penstemon, ...


Review: Kona Unit

Review: Kona Unit

Tester: Adam Newman Age: 36 Height: 6’ 1” Weight: Gaining Inseam: 33” It’s steel. It has wheels. It rides like a bike. To be honest, I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to say? I mean, a rigid singlespeed is about as bare bones as you can get, and you’ve probably already decided if riding ...


Review: WTB Byway 650bx47 tires

Review: WTB Byway 650bx47 tires

Plus tires aren’t just for mountain bikes any more. With the success of oversized tires firmly established in the dirt, the originator of the plus tire movement is moving to road bikes as the next likely target. Yes, Road Plus is a thing, and in a lot of ways, it might be an even better ...


Review: Framed Wolftrax Alloy Compact

Review: Framed Wolftrax Alloy Compact

Tester: Eric McKeegan/Oona McKeegan  Kids today. Back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, kids’ bikes had 20 inch wheels, steel frames and no gears. Also, no helmets. But things change, and in this case, for the better. This is a full-fledged, 24 inch-wheeled, adventure-ready fat bike for kids and short-statured adults, not a bike-shaped-object ...


Review: Ornot cycling kit

Review: Ornot cycling kit

Tester: Scott Williams 5’10 and 175 lbs. Shirt Size: Medium Short Size: Medium (30-32”) Let’s face it, we all can’t be as good looking as Jeff Gordon rocking Roy G. Biv with more brand logos than the Dow Jones. Many of us Jills and Freds certainly aren’t getting endorsement deals so why do we need ...


Dirt Rag Gift Guide 2017: Gifts for the Bag Hoarder

Dirt Rag Gift Guide 2017: Gifts for the Bag Hoarder

By Eric McKeegan Everybody has a bag addict in their life. Here are five gift options for yours. Porcelain Rocket Albert – $225 Are you addicted to bags? Addicted to dropper posts? Addicted to bikepacking? Yes? To all three? Then Albert is the salve to slake your desires. A minimal metal frame is bolted to ...


Dirt Rag Gift Guide 2017: Four Gifts for the Recreational Mountain Bike Parent

Dirt Rag Gift Guide 2017: Four Gifts for the Recreational Mountain Bike Parent

By Trina Haynes Four great gifts for the outdoorsy parent. Marin Hawk Hill – $1,500 The full-suspension Hawk Hill does a great job of keeping the price down while not sacrificing all the positive things needed for a real mountain bike. The Hawk Hill comes equipped with competent componentry; the Shimano Deore drivetrain and hydraulic ...


Dirt Rag Gift Guide 2017: Four Gifts for Bikepackers

Dirt Rag Gift Guide 2017: Four Gifts for Bikepackers

By Helena Kotala  Four gifts that current or aspiring bikepackers – or any cyclist who likes to camp or do long rides – will love. Platypus SoftBottle – $9 Bikepackers have to get creative to save space wherever they can. One of the biggest wastes of space is the air in a bottle after the water ...


First Impression: Trek Roscoe 8

First Impression: Trek Roscoe 8

The trail hardtail is the cockroach of bicycle kingdom: tough to kill. Just when I thought full-suspension was set to crush the venerable beasties, plus tires and modern trail geometry came along and breathed new life into the hardtail category. In fact, Trek offers two trail hardtails: the 29-plus Stache at the high end and ...


First Impression: Surly Karate Monkey 27plus

First Impression: Surly Karate Monkey 27plus

The Surly Karate Monkey is an iconic hardtail that helped popularize 29er wheels back in the early 2000s. It remained unchanged for 14 years, until 2016, when Surly launched an update to the frame that brought it into modern times. With longer, lower, slacker geometry, 27plus compatibility, internal dropper post routing and a frame that’s designed ...


Review: 2017 Pivot LES

Review: 2017 Pivot LES

Tester: Scott Williams Age: 31 Height: 5’10” Weight: 175 lbs. Inseam: 32” When the Pivot LES first stormed bike shop floors in 2012, it was obvious Chris Cocalis of Pivot Cycles was ahead of the curve offering a hardtail with a short chainstay and slack, for cross-country standards, 69.5 degree head angle with a 100mm ...


First Impression: Transition Throttle

First Impression: Transition Throttle

If you want my opinion, and maybe you do if you’re reading this, Transition’s new 27.5-inch carbon hardtail has relegated all other bikes in this hardtail round-up. Hands down, I won the review bike lottery. Since arriving at the Dirt Rag Headquarters, the Transition Throttle passed through various staff members hands for a quick rip here ...


First Impression: Kona Honzo DL

First Impression: Kona Honzo DL

Some may argue that the Kona Honzo was the first of its kind, taking the standard XC hardtail and turning it into an all-mountain machine by mimicking the geometry of popular full-suspension bikes. In 2012, Kona released the first version of the Honzo, and since then the idea of a trail-geometry hardtail has flourished in ...


Review: DryGuy boot dryers

Review: DryGuy boot dryers

Bear with me here for a moment. Ever think much about your mailbox, how simple its functionality is yet how significant it has been in a daily routine? Before work, you drop the rent check in the mailbox, flip the flag and with hope, it will arrive at its destination on time. After work, grab ...


Review: Trek Farley EX 9.8

Review: Trek Farley EX 9.8

Tester: Jon Pratt Age: 46 Height: 5’10.5” Weight: 190 lbs. Inseam: 31” We’re all used to seeing hybrid bikes out around town or on the local rails-to-trails paths, but the Farley EX 9.8 is a whole new style of hybrid. With the Farley EX, Trek is establishing a platform that combines the high-performance characteristics of ...


Review: RockyMounts MonoRail Platform Hitch Rack and Single Bike Add-On

Review: RockyMounts MonoRail Platform Hitch Rack and Single Bike Add-On

The MonoRail may be the RockyMounts lower-tiered platform hitch rack, but the way I see it, why pay for a bunch of extra functionality if you don’t need it. This rack is perfect for that user who prefers a lightweight, simple platform rack and won’t be carrying the entire neighborhood’s bikes to the park and ...


Review: 2018 Cannondale Trigger 3

Review: 2018 Cannondale Trigger 3

Tester: Evan Gross Age: 30 Weight: 185 lbs. Height: 6’ 2” Inseam: 36.5” A different Trigger by the same name … again. While the last several generations of Trigger have been fussy to set up, largely misunderstood and plagued by swingarm cracks, the 2018 hopes to solve many of these issues by reverting to a ...


Review: REI 1-person tent, sleeping bag and pad

Review: REI 1-person tent, sleeping bag and pad

Start dreaming of spring and camping season with this long-term review of a 1-person tent, sleeping bag and pad from REI.  REI Co-op Quarter Dome 1 Tent Price: $279 The REI Co-op Quarter Dome 1 is a 1-person, 3-season tent. If you are in the market for a tent or know someone who is, this ...


Review: Women’s Club Ride Tour Pants

Review: Women’s Club Ride Tour Pants

Club Ride Apparel specializes in bike-centric, functional clothing that is also fashionable and comfortable for everyday living. As the brand’s website pronounces, “Life doesn’t stop after your ride, and neither should your clothes.” While a change of clothes after a wet, muddy, sweaty mountain bike ride is more than welcome, there are plenty of instances ...


Review: Yakima Dr. Tray & EZ+1 add-on hitch rack

Review: Yakima Dr. Tray & EZ+1 add-on hitch rack

Hitch racks are becoming the de facto standard for transporting bikes, and with good reason. As someone who carries dozens of different bikes on my car throughout the year, I am stoked to never need to deal with adaptors with different axle standards or wheel sizes. I’ve also used almost a dozen hitch racks, and ...


Review: Yokozuna Mokoto hydraulic brakes

Review: Yokozuna Mokoto hydraulic brakes

Yokozuna is best known for making some of the best cables and housing on the market. The Motoko is Yokozuna’s first foray into components, aiming for the heart of the rapidly expanding disc-brake, drop-bar market. The Motoko is a cable-actuated, hydraulic disc brake. Unlike almost every other hydraulic system on the market, this is a ...


Review: Fix It Sticks Mountain Kit

Review: Fix It Sticks Mountain Kit

In 2014, Brian Davis went to Kickstarter looking for support of his new creation, the replaceable steel Fix It Sticks. Heck, I was one of those 1,522 backers and continue to use the original set I bought to this day. However, since the sticks lacked a chain breaker and were no lighter or more compact ...


Review: Carver Ti All-Road

Review: Carver Ti All-Road

Tester: Karl Rosengarth Age: 59 Height: 5’10” Weight: 150 lbs. Inseam: 32” Carver’s Ti All-Road is a mountain biker’s road bike. With a design aimed at mixed- surface comfort and stability, the All-Road stands ready for rough road rambles, gravel grinds and singletrack shortcuts. The Bike Built from 3/2.5 titanium alloy, the All-Road comes with ...


Review: Trek Roscoe 8

Review: Trek Roscoe 8

Tester: Karl Rosengarth Age: 59 Weight: 150 lbs. Height: 5’10” Inseam: 32” The Bike The Roscoe checks key trail-bike boxes with its relaxed head angle, short chainstays, wide (740 mm) bars and a short (60 mm) stem. Factor in the de rigueur dropper post and RockShox’s capable-yet-affordable Judy Silver 120 mm fork, and the Roscoe ...


Review: “Cool weather casual” kit from Club Ride

Review: “Cool weather casual” kit from Club Ride

Gravity Flannel – $100 The Gravity Flannel from Club Ride has all the aesthetic qualities suitable to both hearty frontier folks and the casual Friday crowd, with functional highlights that make it easy to do just about anything in. Constructed of a polyester/flannel blend, the Gravity has the strange quality of being quite structured, meaning ...


Review: Marin Wolf Ridge 8

Review: Marin Wolf Ridge 8

Tester: Eric McKeegan Age: 43 Height: 5’11” Weight: 165 lbs. Inseam: 32” Not since the launch of Kona’s Magic Link bikes (R.I.P) has there been a bike that creates such a sudden, visceral and polarized response. The Wolf Ridge is an ungainly looking conundrum of a bike, drawing questions of motorization and general confusion about ...


Review: Bontrager SE4 29 x 3.0 tires

Review: Bontrager SE4 29 x 3.0 tires

I’ve been a fan of Bontrager’s Chupacabra tires since they first hit the market. For something so light and fast the Chupas manage to provide predictable traction in conditions that should stymie its pattern of small tread blocks. But that lightness comes at a price. I’ve punctured these tires a fair number of times in ...


Review: Kenda Hellkat 27.5 x 2.4 tires

Review: Kenda Hellkat 27.5 x 2.4 tires

By William Kirk Kenda introduced the Hellkat as a full-on downhill tire capable of handling the most rugged of world cup tracks. The tire is aimed at a wide variety of technical terrain; its large center blocks and aggressive cornering knobs place it at the forefront of Kenda’s assortment. I fitted the 2.4 inch Hellkat’s ...


Review: Soma Condor bars

Review: Soma Condor bars

Every time Dirt Rag editor Eric McKeegan looked at the Soma Condor drop bars on my gravel bike, he just shook his head and laughed. Which made me laugh. Why? Because they do look pretty ridiculous. But all giggles aside, these bars do have a purpose aside from looking funny, and that’s to provide an ...


Review: Surly Big Fat Dummy

Review: Surly Big Fat Dummy

Name: Evan Gross Age: 30 Weight: 187 lbs. Height: 6’2” Inseam: 36” Introduced in late 2016, the Big Fat Dummy is not just a Big Dummy (Surly’s original 26-inch wheeled longtail cargo bike) with fat tires, though the name makes it seem as such. But there’s a lot more than just fat tires that separate ...


Review: Oddity Cycles Punk Rock Jazz

Review: Oddity Cycles Punk Rock Jazz

Tester: Stephen Haynes Age: 39 Height: 5’11” Weight: 200 lbs. Inseam: 30” A thought experiment, if you’ll indulge me. Try to picture the bike you learned to ride on. Think about the memory of that bike, just the bike; do you remember it? Chances are good that you do, and for most of you, that ...


Review: Tepui Kukenam SKY 3-person Tent

Review: Tepui Kukenam SKY 3-person Tent

Photos by Peter Bakken We’ve all seen these rooftop tents floating through magazines and the interwebs, but not many of us have actually seen them out in the wild, so I was pretty excited when Tepui Tents out of Santa Cruz, California, was willing to send us their 3-person Kukenam SKY for review. Arriving in ...


Review: Restrap bikepacking bags

Review: Restrap bikepacking bags

With the explosion of bikepacking, the market has become inundated with small bag makers, each with their own take on a relatively simple concept: holding stuff. It seems that each city has its own local bag maker and each maker has its own cult following. Restrap is a small British bag and accessory company out ...


Review: Bontrager women’s winter wear

Review: Bontrager women’s winter wear

Bontrager B2 long sleeve base layer – $85 When riding in cold and/or potentially-wet winter conditions, layering and dressing appropriately is of utmost importance. That being said, I usually opt to get my upper body base layers from the thrift store, discarded Dri-FIT tops from New Years resolutionists that do a fine job of wicking ...


Review: Club Ride Blaze Vest

Review: Club Ride Blaze Vest

Not all vests are created with riding in mind. From a company like Club Ride that blends lifestyle and riding, sometimes leaning a little too heavy to the lifestyle end of the spectrum, I was glad to see a piece that was more on the riding end while still keeping the off-the-bike nerd factor in ...


Review: Women’s riding hoodies from Garneau, Pearl Izumi and Club Ride

Review: Women’s riding hoodies from Garneau, Pearl Izumi and Club Ride

As a curvy woman, I often struggle to find technical clothing that fits well. Investing in an outer layer that fits right and checks all the boxes on my “must list” is not an easy task. I decided to seek this golden chalice of perfection and gather three outer layers for riding that I thought ...


Review: Ladies baselayers from Garneau and Pearl Izumi

Review: Ladies baselayers from Garneau and Pearl Izumi

We still have 1-2 more months of winter in the northern states. My dad resides in Yuma, Arizona and would call 40°’s winter, but whatever your cold tolerance is, baselayers can be a key component to enjoying the outdoors. Baselayers need to wick away moisture in cold temperatures and should be lightweight and fit snugly ...


The Kona Satori returns – a mid-travel 29er trail bike for the masses

The Kona Satori returns – a mid-travel 29er trail bike for the masses

  Remember Kona’s first 29er trail bike, the 130 mm Satori? Five years ago it was a solid first effort, with 68/74 head/seat angles, just over 17″ chainstays, and a long reach for the time. When the Process 111 hit the market, the Satori disappeared. Or maybe it disappeared before the 111? Does it really ...


Review: Grip Studs

Review: Grip Studs

By Ryan Eisenhower If you have ever spent time in Central Pennsylvania in the middle of winter, you know that we can experience a wide range of conditions over the course of 4-5 months – from mud to packed snow to slush then frozen solid in what seems like a never-ending cycle most years. Fat ...


First Impressions: New Santa Cruz Blur and Highball

First Impressions: New Santa Cruz Blur and Highball

Many mountain bike cross-country courses are becoming increasingly gnarlier, demanding a fine balance between trail capable and lightweight race sleds. The recent Stellenbosch World Cup course is a perfect example. Riders are often choosing full-suspension cross-country race rigs over their hardtails for increased control, power delivery and taking on all that chunk at mach speeds. ...


A brief history of the dropper seatpost

A brief history of the dropper seatpost

In the early days of mountain biking, quick-release seatpost binders were on the bikes even when the wheels were nutted. The trails in those days were usually pretty primitive and bore little semblance to the IMBA-spec’d trails being built today. Many steep descents required the saddle to be lowered out of the way so you ...


Review: Kona Big Honzo DL

Review: Kona Big Honzo DL

Tester: Brett Rothmeyer Age: 40 Weight: 165 lbs. Height: 6’1” Inseam: 32″ Dropping into the first section of fast and flowy singletrack on the Big Honzo DL was like plugging a Les Paul into a Marshall stack and hitting an open A chord. We are not talking a Roy Orbison open A; we are talking ...


Review: Niner SIR 9

Review: Niner SIR 9

Tester: Scott Williams Age: 31 Height: 5’10” Weight: 175 lbs. Inseam: 32” In early 2017, the SIR 9 had vanished from Niner’s website, shocking and confusing more than a few fans of this steel-framed classic. It wasn’t until June that Niner officially released its newly revamped SIR 9, and with the dust settled, it was ...


Review: Falconer Custom

Review: Falconer Custom

Tester: Eric McKeegan Age: 43 Height: 5’11” Weight: 165 lbs. Inseam: 32” According to the advice from modern, data-driven marketing gurus, a business needs an expensive, responsive website with accurate prices. Social media posts need to be constant. And of course, local competition should be kept to a minimum. Mr. Cameron Falconer doesn’t seem to ...


Trek Full Stache – 29plus – full-sus

Trek Full Stache – 29plus – full-sus

Trek’s Stache 29plus hardtail has opened many eyes to the wonderful weirdness of 29plus tires. Ever since the introduction of the SE4/XR4 29×3 tire in the Fall of 2017 I’ve been wondering if there might be a bike designed around the capabilities of this tire. I stopped wondering a few weeks ago when this weird ...


Review: Big Agnes Shovelhead down jacket

Review: Big Agnes Shovelhead down jacket

By Helena Kotala  Whether you’re going bikepacking or doing a long winter ride in ever-changing conditions, a packable yet very warm jacket is an invaluable piece of gear for when you reach camp for the night or the temperature suddenly drops 20 degrees high in the mountains. There are two routes to go for such ...


New forks from FOX

New forks from FOX

Fox released its entire 2019 line up. Here are some of the highlights: 34 Step-Cast More than one staffer around the office has eyeballed the 32 Step Cast for personal bikes, but the 100mm travel limitation prevented anyone from pulling the trigger. Rather than extend the travel of the 32, Fox slimmed down the 34 chassis, ...


New RockShox SID and TwistLoc remote

New RockShox SID and TwistLoc remote

Cross-country racing continues to get more and more technical and demanding and the new SID looks ready to continue RockShox’s winning ways in the Lycra arena. RockShox SID World Cup A no-compromise, elite-level racing fork, the new SID World Cup is a short-travel tool for winning races. FEATURES / BENEFITS New friction-reducing DebonAir™ air spring delivers ...


The Bomber Z1 returns – Marzocchi drops new fork range

The Bomber Z1 returns – Marzocchi drops new fork range

The original Marzocchi Bomber Z1 changed the way we all ride mountain bikes. Not only did it change riding, but it forced the competition to step up and offer better products. The new Z1 looks to carry on the tradition of ride quality over all else. Marzocchi is now owned by Fox, so these forks will share ...


Review: Bontrager Line Pro 30 TLR

Review: Bontrager Line Pro 30 TLR

Early in 2017, Bontrager unleashed a handful of enduro/trail and cross-country wheelset options to help make upgrading to a stronger and lighter wheelset more affordable. One offering from Bontrager is the Line Pro 30, which offers a hook-bead carbon rim with 29 mm internal /36 mm external widths. The Rapid Drive 108 hub (Shimano 10/11-speed ...


Review: Leatt DBX 3.0 All-Mountain

Review: Leatt DBX 3.0 All-Mountain

Leatt is well-known for protecting vertebrae and collarbones with its line of neck braces, but after riding with this DBX 3.0 All-Mountain for half a year, I suspect we’ll be seeing the Leatt name on a lot more heads. The protractedly named DBX 3.0 All-Mountain is a modern, extended-coverage helmet, keeping skulls and their contents ...


Review: Two 29×2.6 offerings from Maxxis and Bontrager

Review: Two 29×2.6 offerings from Maxxis and Bontrager

As the industry seems to be working itself back from 3-inch plus tires, we may have just struck gold with the new 2.6 offerings. When mounted up, the 29×2.6 is just shy of the width of a 27.5×2.8 and only a smidge taller than a 29×2.4. So, increased volume and traction without sacrificing bottom bracket ...


The Pisgah Stage Race bike and gear guide

The Pisgah Stage Race bike and gear guide

By Andrew Vontz In 2017, I competed in the five-day, five-stage Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race, survived the most technical trails I’d ever ridden on a demanding course and came away with strong ideas about how to do better in 2018. Based on what I learned and extensive conversations with Pisgah honchos like Chris Komanski, ...


Review: Pearl Izumi Versa Shorts and Tops

Review: Pearl Izumi Versa Shorts and Tops

When Pearl Izumi created its new Versa line, it had a few things in mind. According to the company, “It had to be comfortable. Functional. Extremely versatile”. All of which are characteristics that I personally look for. Aside from making packing for trips easier, I like to know that I can run down to the ...


Paul Component Releases Boxcar Stem in 110mm

Paul Component Releases Boxcar Stem in 110mm

Paul Component has a friend her name is Boxcar! Cigarettes and beer in El Sob…. er wait, that’s the wrong Boxcar. Paul Components has updated their beloved Boxcar stem. With the addition of the 110mm length, there is a Boxcar stem for almost every length desired. Machined from 2024 alloy Paul boasts that the Boxcar stem ...


New Shimano XTR M9100 – Options, options, options

New Shimano XTR M9100 – Options, options, options

Everyone knew a new XTR group was coming, but what Shimano released today is still unexpected. The new 12-speed 10-51 cassette wasn’t that hard to guess, but three cassette choices are unexpected. There are new hubs and brakes as well, but let’s tackle the drivetrain first. (Full disclosure: this is all info from Shimano’s press ...


Review: BMC Speedfox 01. KR

Review: BMC Speedfox 01. KR

Name: Brett Rothmeyer Age: 40 Weight: 165 lbs. Height: 6’1” Inseam: 32” The Speedfox 01 by BMC is touted as the latest in a long line of proclaimed, “quiver killers.” Labeled as a trail bike, the Speedfox looks to straddle the line between fun and performance, cross-country and trail. Falling into the medium travel category ...


Bike Review: Canyon Strive CF 7.0

Bike Review: Canyon Strive CF 7.0

Tester: Eric McKeegan Age: 44 Height: 5’11” Weight: 165 lbs. Inseam: 32” Canyon has made its long-awaited entry into the U.S. market. One of the biggest consumer-direct brands in Europe, the looming threat of Canyon has been touted as the best thing ever for consumers and the worst thing ever for established brands and their ...


Endura Singletrack Jacket II

Endura Singletrack Jacket II

Endura Singletrack Jacket II – $163 By Stephen Haynes   The Singletrack II from Endura combines comfort, style, and functionality to produce one stunning, yet useful garment. The lightweight, waterproof shell is loose enough to get a flannel or sweater underneath without being baggy and comes in three colors: red, blue and black/camo. It also ...


Pivot Firebird 29 – First Ride

Pivot Firebird 29 – First Ride

Pivot invited us out to ride the new Trail 429 in Moab last month in Moab. The assembled media had a blast, but when Pivot’s head honcho, Chris Cocalis unexpectedly wheeled out a this new Firebird 29 no one asked to stay on the Trail 429 for the next day’s ride. The Firebird 29 is Pivot’s answer ...


Review: Shimano AM7 MTB shoe

Review: Shimano AM7 MTB shoe

Shimano’s component arm moves slowly with new product development, but when it comes to its shoes, Shimano clips along at a pretty fast rate. The new AM7 is Shimano’s newest clipless all-mountain/gravity shoe, also known as the SH-AM701. The old AM700 was a platform pedal shoe. The platform pedal version of this new shoe is ...


Review: Roadrunner Bags Americano

Review: Roadrunner Bags Americano

Roadrunner Bags Americano – $380 by Stephen Haynes In the last year or so I’ve taken to painting outside. As my interest in the activity has grown, so too has my list of supplies that I carry with me into the field. To that end, I’ve been looking for a bag that would remain unphased ...


Review: Flylow Spring MTB Gear

Review: Flylow Spring MTB Gear

Testers: Scott Williams and Jess Nelson Flylow Gear flylowgear.com The millennial tuxedo. Athleisure. A decision to seek attire that can keep up with the on-the-go active lifestyle. Whatever you call it, casual athletic wear is here to stay and more companies such as Flylow are looking to jump on board. Since the company’s initial debut ...


Review: Search and State S2-R Performance Bib Shorts

Review: Search and State S2-R Performance Bib Shorts

Reviewer: Brett Rothmeyer Search and State S2-R Performance Bib Shorts: $215 When it comes to cycling clothing, there is nothing more important than a solid pair of bib shorts while tackling long days in the saddle. Multiple days of grueling riding are hard enough without having to worry about comfort and the wear and tear ...


This brand new burly Burley trailer is carrying its weight with Eurobike Award

This brand new burly Burley trailer is carrying its weight with Eurobike Award

Just as Burley is rounding the corner into middle age with their 40th anniversary, they received a wonderful and deserved present of being recognized with this year’s Eurobike Award in the Accessories category. Their new Coho XC is a single wheel cargo trailer; it transitions to each of your bikes for all your cargo needs, regardless of road conditions. ...


First Rides – XTR M9100 12-speed

First Rides – XTR M9100 12-speed

A few weeks back, Shimano took me (and other media) to the mountain town of Crested Butte, Colorado for a few days of high-altitude riding on the newly-released, 12-speed XTR M9100. Unlike the previous two generations, this newest version of XTR looks and feels like a true redesign rather than a few small updatess. Shimano ...


Liv Cycling announces new Intrigue series

Liv Cycling announces new Intrigue series

Woman-specific designs have long had a bad rap as being shrinked-and-pinked or more commonly, shrinked-and-stinked—charging the same amount of money for a bike with lesser quality components. Many women had different body geometries than most men, with a lower center of gravity, narrower shoulders, and a different transference of power based on our builds. Buying ...


Trek releases upgrades to entry-level Marlin and Marlin WSD lines

Trek releases upgrades to entry-level Marlin and Marlin WSD lines

Trek has released their updated Marlin, their entry level bikes that come in both “standard” and as a “women specific design” (WSD). Between the two model lines, not much is different. The smallest sizes (13.5″ and 15.5″) of the WSD models have a more sloped top tube for standover clearance compared to the slight slope ...


Review: Bontrager XR2 Team Issue Tires

Review: Bontrager XR2 Team Issue Tires

Tire selection is a very personal choice. Bontrager understands that.  The company’s website says, “The first step in finding the right tire is deciding how much tread you need.” That’s solid advice. I find that few components choices are more personal than tires. Bontrager classifies its tires on a 0 to 5 scale (plus a ...


Review: Burley Coho XC Trailer

Review: Burley Coho XC Trailer

Burley Coho XC Trailer By Stephen Haynes Weight: 22 lbs. MSRP: $419 Online: burley.com Back in 1978, there weren’t the myriad options for stowing and towing your cargo by bike that we luxuriate in today. Burley founders Alan and Beverly Scholz took it upon themselves to develop a method for transporting goods, gear and their ...


Review: new Showers Pass clothes to keep you cool, dry, and slightly less stinky

Review: new Showers Pass clothes to keep you cool, dry, and slightly less stinky

This summer, just about any minute not spent writing has been spent pedaling and camping. From Pennsylvania to West Virginia, Vermont, and Colorado, I’ve relied on a small selection of clothes to keep me comfortable in and out of the saddle. I chose to bring a short-sleeve Shower’s Pass Hi-Line wool jersey, a long-sleeve Shower’s ...


Review: Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed and Backcountry Bivy

Review: Sierra Designs Backcountry Bed and Backcountry Bivy

This summer, I had the luxury of traveling quite a bit for work and spending most nights sleeping outside, staring lovingly at my bicycle shining under the moonlight in five states. For shelter, I brought a Sierra Designs Backcountry Bivy and Backcountry Bed 700/35 degree. In Colorado, I was on a guided tour that provided ...


Fox Live Valve – Smarter shocks for a better future?

Fox Live Valve – Smarter shocks for a better future?

Effectively an open secret for at least a year, Fox is finally taking the lid off its new computer-controlled shock valving.  Fox describes Live Valve as a “fast-acting automated electronic suspension system”. This system is made up of tiny motors to control the valving, accelerometers on the front and rear wheels, a control unit (CPU), a ...


Niner Bikes delivers with the new flat bar RLT 9 Apex

Niner Bikes delivers with the new flat bar RLT 9 Apex

Most long-time bike nerds have that bike. The Frankenstein Monster, built up maybe over a long time or maybe just put together in one frustrated afternoon, to hopefully satisfy that need. The road bike is too aero but the mountain bike is too slow. There has to be a bike that can get to work ...


Review: Big Agnes’s new Fly Creek UL2 Bike Pack tent

Review: Big Agnes’s new Fly Creek UL2 Bike Pack tent

By Zach White MSRP $380($360 for the 1-person version) Weight 1195grams/2.6lbs(actual) Available January 2019 Big Agnes is now offering updated versions of their Fly Creek UL2, including a new Bike Pack model. The biggest new feature that justifies the name designation is that the tent’s poles break down to 12-inches in length, which was primarily ...


45Nrth announces new line for 2019

45Nrth announces new line for 2019

If you live in a place that experiences cold, and especially if that cold is also wet, then you probably know about 45NRTH. They are at the front of the pack when it comes to keeping our toes from falling off, making fully waterproof, insulated cycling boots and shoes for mountain biking and commuting in ...


Endura Updates the MT500 Line

Endura Updates the MT500 Line

Endura adds some updates to its award-winning MT500 line. Watch the video with Dan Atherton and check out the goods.   [wonderplugin_gallery id=”86″]


Some more cool stuff from Interbike! Pt. 2 – Wahoo Fitness, G-Form, and Osprey

Some more cool stuff from Interbike! Pt. 2 – Wahoo Fitness, G-Form, and Osprey

Wahoo Fitness has a new product called the Kickr Headwind, which gives you a headwind (duh) while riding your bike. You can either use this to keep you cool while riding indoors on those rainy, wintry days, or charge through 30mph winds in penance for whatever terrible thing you’ve done (like choose to ride indoors). ...


Even more sweet finds at Interbike, Pt. 3 – Dakine, Rivendell and Green Guru product

Even more sweet finds at Interbike, Pt. 3 – Dakine, Rivendell and Green Guru product

Dakine has a sick new gravity line called Thrillium, with their partnership with Graham Agissiz and Team Aggy, bringing a very specific “wolf” vibe, which I am not opposed to, into both their men’s and women’s cuts. They have new knee pads and gloves, and their baggies have been redesigned to offer a ton of ...


Review: Copenhagen Wheel

Review: Copenhagen Wheel

Superpedestrian came out with the Copenhagen Wheel a few years ago and has continued to maintain and grow their wheel technology. The Copenhagen Wheel is an electric assist wheel that turns an acoustic bike into an electric bike. There is no throttle. The wheel feels the force of pedaling and kicks in based on the ...


What bars? Ask whatbars.com

What bars? Ask whatbars.com

Whether you are a mechanic at a shop trying to find the best bars for your customer’s custom build, or a daydreamer wistfully putting together a vision board of your dream bike, the options for some components can be staggering. Some componentry comes with built-in parameters such as size, measurements, and budget. In this era of ...


Ibis launches new DV9 carbon hardtail

Ibis launches new DV9 carbon hardtail

On Monday, Ibis launched its newest carbon hardtail, the DV9. Inspired by Lili Heim, the varsity XC racing high school daughter of Ibis co-owner and CEO Hans Heim, this bike is designed to be fun, fast, and affordable. With 67.4° travel on a 120mm fork (68.5° on a 100mm fork), the geometry is slacker than ...


Ruffwear new and updated 2018 dog winter apparel and gear

Ruffwear new and updated 2018 dog winter apparel and gear

Our dogs are more than our best friend— they are our riding and adventure partners throughout the seasons, including winter. Ruffwear has been designing adventure dog apparel and dog gear since 1994. Check out some of Ruffwear’s new and updated gear and apparel for the upcoming winter season. The Vert Jacket is a new product ...


Review: Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt Carbon 70

Review: Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt Carbon 70

Editor’s note: This review was originally published in issue 206 of Dirt Rag Magazine. Want to see more? Subscribe today at dirtragmag.com/subscribe to catch issue 208, coming soon! Price: $5,999 Sizes: XS, S, M, L (tested), XL Online: www.bikes.com Tester: Brett Rothmeyer Age: 40 Weight: 165 lbs. Height: 6’1” Inseam: 32” Reach: 17.9” Stack: 24.0” Top ...


Hydro Flask: A look inside the insulated bottle company office and brand

Hydro Flask: A look inside the insulated bottle company office and brand

Walking into the Hydro Flask office there are a few boxes lying about and a large amount of empty space seen throughout the building. It’s not just the open office environment that is creating this open feeling in the office, it’s that Hydro Flask moved into this new office just two years ago and it’s ...


Review: Santa Cruz 5010 X01

Review: Santa Cruz 5010 X01

Editor’s note: This review originally appeared in issue 206 of Dirt Rag Magazine. Like what you see? Subscribe now at dirtragmag.com/subscribe to catch issue 208, coming real soon.  Name: Eric McKeegan Age: 44 Weight: 165 lbs. Height: 5’ 11” Inseam: 32” Price: $6,799, $7,999 with carbon wheels Sizes: XS, S, M, L, (tested) XL Online: ...


Road Runner Bags Large Point ‘N’ Shooter

Road Runner Bags Large Point ‘N’ Shooter

If you are anything like me then you have likely tried every configuration for toting your camera along with you on rides. Slings, backpacks, handlebar bags, jersey pockets, I have tried them all. When Road Runner Bags approached us about trying out some of their offerings I jumped at the chance to throw the large ...


Philly Bike Expo 2018

Philly Bike Expo 2018

OK, so now that I’ve gotten the Pittsburgh tragedy out in the open, let’s move on to the PHILLY BIKE EXPO! Maurice (Dirt Rag’s publisher and mastermind) and I drove into Philly with a few bikes in tow, plus some old copies of Dirt Rag to hand out, socks, pint glasses, hats, t-shirts, frame bags ...


Kona Wozo: Cold Smoke

Kona Wozo: Cold Smoke

Ahh, November. Depending on where you live, you may still have hard-packed— dare I say “dusty”— trails, or you may already be frolicking in a winter wonderland. Here in the mid-Atlantic, we are sludging through the awkward adolescent season of late autumn, where the trails are slick with wet leaves, roots, and rocks, and for ...


Review: Diamond Brand Gear Belay Bag

Review: Diamond Brand Gear Belay Bag

While innovation comes from around the world, it’s always great to see products made in the USA. The Belay Bag from Diamond Brand Gear, made in the Carolina Mountains and located in North Carolina, haven’t quite reinvented the backpack but it’s about as close as I’ve seen to a complete design rehaul. The tops of ...


Is it the bike? Is it the rider? Or is it the tire?

Is it the bike? Is it the rider? Or is it the tire?

I’m not a huge race nerd. I’ll just put that out there immediately. It’s cool and all, and going fast is really fun, but I’d much rather be out riding myself than sitting home watching others have all the fun, and I just can’t bring myself to do the things—  train, practice, analyze my wattage, ...


Commerce time! Black Friday and Cyber Monday Holiday Round up Deals

Commerce time! Black Friday and Cyber Monday Holiday Round up Deals

Editor’s note: While today is traditionally both a day of giving thanks and a day of mourning, it has also become synonymous with savings as the more commercial holidays roll ever closer (I’m looking at you, St. Lucia Day). With that, we’ve reached out to a few (OK, a lot) of our partners, favorite brands, ...


Get through the winter with Wahoo

Get through the winter with Wahoo

There’s something admittedly dystopian about riding a trainer in the winter. Even if the weather is crappy, outside air feels better than a stuffy basement. Still, after enough times slamming your body down on ice or catching bronchitis from wet clothes and cold weather, it may be time to think about your life and the ...


Carolyne recommends: Swift Industries Poloma Bag

Carolyne recommends: Swift Industries Poloma Bag

Editor’s note: As the holiday season rolls around, everyone is inundated with ads and marketing campaigns for every product imaginable, in companies’ hopes to capitalize on…well, capitalism, I guess. It can be hard to weed out what a publication is putting out there as an ad or as a genuine recommendation, so we at Dirt ...


Scott Recommends: Wahoo Elemnt Bolt GPS

Scott Recommends: Wahoo Elemnt Bolt GPS

Editor’s note: As the holiday season rolls around, everyone is inundated with ads and marketing campaigns for every product imaginable, in companies’ hopes to capitalize on…well, capitalism, I guess. It can be hard to weed out what a publication is putting out there as an ad or as a genuine recommendation, so we at Dirt ...


Trina Recommends: Park Tool multi-tool

Trina Recommends: Park Tool multi-tool

Editor’s note: As the holiday season rolls around, everyone is inundated with ads and marketing campaigns for every product imaginable, in companies’ hopes to capitalize on…well, capitalism, I guess. It can be hard to weed out what a publication is putting out there as an ad or as a genuine recommendation, so we at Dirt ...


Review: Specialized Enduro Coil 29

Review: Specialized Enduro Coil 29

Editor’s note: This review originally appeared in issue 207 of Dirt Rag Magazine. Like what you see? Subscribe now at dirtragmag.com/subscribe to catch issue 209, coming real soon.  Tester: A.J. Collins Age: 40 Height: 5’10” Weight: 165 lbs. Inseam: 31” Price: $5,800 Sizes: S, M, L (tested), XL Online: specialized.com Reach: 18.2” Stack: 24.4” Top ...


Review: Kuat Highline 3-bike car rack

Review: Kuat Highline 3-bike car rack

There are so many options for bike racks these days, each with obvious pros and cons. A hitch rack is so easy but I’ve also bottomed them out and been rear-ended. Roof racks gets the bikes away from all the road gunk, but reduce MPG and take up real estate that could be utilitized for ...


Light Bicycle AM928 Wheelset

Light Bicycle AM928 Wheelset

Light Bicycle AM928 Wheelset – $1,269 us.lightbicycle.com By Scott Williams Back in 2010, the carbon wheelset market was just starting to gain momentum, and low-cost, unbranded carbon fiber rims started emerging online. One of those companies was Xiamen Light Bicycle, a global manufacturing company that started with carbon rims shipped directly from the facility in ...


Revelate Designs Polecat and Terrapin 14L

Revelate Designs Polecat and Terrapin 14L

Revelate Designs has been busy this winter revamping their line up and adding some new pieces to their already impressive offerings of bikepacking gear. The latest from Revelate is the fork mounted Polecat and the redesign of their popular Terrapin System 14L seat pack. “Cargo cages have been around for a while now and I didn’t want ...


Review: Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT GPS

Review: Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT GPS

Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT – $250 wahoofitness.com By Scott Williams Claimed to be the first, fully aerodynamic GPS bike computer, the Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT is packed with features that will please data junkies and weekend warriors alike. While I find the aerodynamic computer and mount integration impressive, the simple user interface is what makes the Wahoo ...


Sram GX Eagle: Long-Term Review

Sram GX Eagle: Long-Term Review

SRAM GX Eagle – Long-Term Review By Eric McKeegan SRAM’s first 12-speed drivetrains, XX1 Eagle and X01 Eagle and their 10-50 cassettes, brought the gearing range of multi-chainring drivetrains to the single-ring universe. Everyone who rode them had little negative to say, if anything at all. But, unless you get the parts for free, there ...


Xpedo GFX Pedals

Xpedo GFX Pedals

Xpedo GFX Pedals – $170 – $200 By Stephen Haynes The southern California pedal pusher, Xpedo makes pedals for every type of riding from cross to downhill, in a dizzying array of colors to keep the most discerning tastes appeased. The all-mountain, downhill, enduro loving GFX is a clipless structure, surrounded by a full-bodied aluminum ...


Down By The River: A Guide To Reality Based Vanlife

Down By The River: A Guide To Reality Based Vanlife

By Brendon Voelker It’s a quarter ‘til sunrise in the Blue Ridge Mountains. You step out of bed as the day begins to break and the rays of light cascade through the windows. You flip on the hot water kettle, grind up some coffee, and prep the pour over just like that hipster at the ...


Dakine Hot Laps Bag

Dakine Hot Laps Bag

Dakine Hot Laps 5L – $70 By Eric McKeegan Water bladders in hip packs have never been a combo that I could get along with, at least until this guy came into my life at a recent press camp.  Designed to carry a 2-liter bladder and enough supplies for a lengthy ride, the Hot Laps ...


FSA Flowtron Dropper Seatpost

FSA Flowtron Dropper Seatpost

FSA Flowtron Dropper Seatpost – $250 By Scott Williams Introduction In late 2016, Full Speed Ahead (FSA) announced that it would discontinue its Gravity dropper post series to avoid confusion with the brand, GravityDropper.The Flowtron takes its place with a completely redesigned the remote, improved durability and a couple hundred less grams. The Flowtron has ...


Review: Quoc Gran Tourer bike shoes

Review: Quoc Gran Tourer bike shoes

by Carolyne Whelan In all my thousands and thousands of miles of bike touring and bikepacking, I’ve always just used my mountain bike shoes. I already owned them, for one; plus, they were comfortable enough to walk around for a while yet sturdy enough to ride in for hours at a time without fatigue. This, ...


Review: Ruff Wear

Review: Ruff Wear

Ruff Wear By Stephen Haynes The outdoor industry is littered with success stories of forward-thinking entrepreneurs who, through grit, determination and an unmet need, have made their dreams a reality through hard work and great products. One such story is that of the active dog equipment company, Ruff Wear, whose founder began tinkering with his ...


Review: Rapha winter kit

Review: Rapha winter kit

In these deep winter months of cold, damp darkness, my typically preferred riding garb of whatever-I’m-already-wearing just doesn’t cut it. I wanted something that would be insulated without feeling like I was wearing three pairs of pants, and easily wicked off rain and mud without feeling like a plastic bag. Rapha is known primarily in ...


Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 90

Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 90

2018 Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 90 Tester: Zach White Age: 43 Weight: 205 lbs Height: 6’ 3” Inseam: 32” Price: $7,399 Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL(tested) Online: bikes.com Reach: 19.1” Stack: 24.5” Top Tube: 25.8” Head Tube: 65.0° Seat Tube: 74.1° BB Height: 13.2” Chainstays: 16.7” Weight: 27.9 lbs.w/o pedals, specs based on size ...


Cnoc Outdoors Vecto 2L Water Container

Cnoc Outdoors Vecto 2L Water Container

If you spend any time in the outdoors, you’ll eventually need to address how to keep yourself hydrated. The first obvious option is to carry water with you, but that source will quickly run out as the length of your activity increases. Conveniently there are several options for carrying and replenishing that water supply while ...


Otter Box Trooper LT 30

Otter Box Trooper LT 30

OtterBox Trooper LT 30 $299 By Eric McKeegan The premium-priced cooler market is not one I saw coming. But here is it. The big plastic Yetis and their competitors are now familiar sights at trailheads and campgrounds everywhere. Those expensive coolers are the only reason why I can review this backpack cooler with a straight ...


Bontrager releases new WaveCel helmet technology

Bontrager releases new WaveCel helmet technology

Have you had a concussion? Do you wish you hadn’t? Well, Bontrager hasn’t invented a time machine (yet) to go back and right the terrible wrongs we’ve committed to our brains, but they have apparently come up with a potential solution to acquiring more brain injuries. The new WaveCel technology, released today, seems so simple ...


Review: Deuter Trans Alpine Pro 26L backpack

Review: Deuter Trans Alpine Pro 26L backpack

I’m a sucker for bags. Every time a new design comes out, I am bright-eyed at the idea of some new way to get my life together, finally organize all my hopes, dreams and snacks into a compartmentalized, ergonomic and travel-ready sack. Often, those wishes are overshot, or what is marketed in a pack is ...


Tubolito re-engineered the bicycle tube

Tubolito re-engineered the bicycle tube

Surprisingly, in a recent year-end survey conducted by Dirt Rag, we asked riders if their wheels were set up tubeless, and of the near six-thousand responses, 52% responded no. This was really surprising to me considering how long tubeless technology has been around. However, even if you’re not running tubes in your wheels, you still ...


Review: Cero One

Review: Cero One

While the debate over ebikes continues on our mountain bike trails, there’s one place where there’s no question: the cargo and utility departments, where the ability to more easily transport one’s self-and-things without a car is changing lives for the better.


Santa Cruz Highball

Santa Cruz Highball

Santa Cruz Highball XX1 Price: $7,999 Sizes: S, M, L (tested), XL Online: santacruzbicycles.com Tester: Scott Williams Age: 32 Weight: 170 lbs. Height: 5’ 11” Inseam: 32.5” Reach: 17.7” Stack: 24.2” Top Tube: 25.1” Head Tube: 69.5° Seat Tube: 73° BB Height: 12.4” Chainstays: 16.8” Weight: 20 lbs. (with dropper) Long known as a trail ...


Niner JET 9 RDO

Niner JET 9 RDO

Niner JET 9 RDO 3-Star GX Eagle Price: $5,400 Sizes: XS, S, M, L (Tested), XL Online: ninerbikes.com Tester: Brett Rothmeyer Age: 40 Weight: 165, lbs. Height: 6’-1” Inseam: 32” Reach: 17.4” Stack: 24.7” Top Tube: 24.5” Head Tube: 67° Seat Tube: 74° BB Height: 13.4” Chainstays: 17.1” Weight: 28.5 lbs. “Honesty is the best ...


Review: Co-Motion Divide

Review: Co-Motion Divide

The Co-Motion Divide’s rugged looking frame is hand-built in Oregon using oversized Reynolds 725 chromoly tubing. Co-Motion’s tandem expertise is evident in the massive chainstays and the 40-spoke wheels, built using DT-Swiss 540 tandem hubs (with 145mm rear spacing for a dishless wheel) and Velocity Cliffhanger rims. The stout 44 mm-diameter head tube on the ...


Review: 2013 Salsa Fargo 2

Review: 2013 Salsa Fargo 2

Rather than a beefed-up touring bike like the Co-Motion Divide we reviewed last week, the Fargo 2 is actually a drop-bar mountain bike, with a lighter compact frame, 2×10 drivetrain, tubeless wheels, and slacker geometry than the Co-Motion. A tall, 44mm head tube means a higher handlebar for comfort off-road, and suspension-corrected geometry allows a ...


Review: Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc

Review: Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc

The Crosstrail formula is simple: aluminum frame with generous tire clearance plus rack and fender mounts, 60mm-travel SR Suntour NEXi suspension fork, a 3×9 drivetrain, Tektro Draco hydraulic disc brakes, and wheels and tires on the heavy-duty end of the road spectrum. This package delivers a highly versatile bike that can be used for commuting, ...


Review: Kona Rove

Review: Kona Rove

Kona designed the Rove as a versatile machine, mixing the practicality of its commuter and touring models with the fit and geometry of its cyclocross heritage. The result is a bike that feels responsive, but still delivers versatility that will keep you rolling all year. It seems rim vs. disc brakes has superseded Campagnolo vs. ...


Review: Trek CrossRip

Review: Trek CrossRip

Trek’s CrossRip is part of the Urban Utility line. Two models are offered, the basic Crossrip and the upgraded Elite. Both are spec’d with a drop bar for versatility and comfort, and differ only in the parts package. The frame is made from Trek’s 100 series Alpha aluminum, with a Bontrager Satellite carbon fork. The ...


First Impression: Surly ECR

First Impression: Surly ECR

Let me answer this question first: no, this is not a Krampus with holes drilled in it. While ECR closely resembles its 29+ brethren, it is a completely different beast. The frame is different, the geometry is different, the build kit is different and the fork is different. Built for loaded touring, exploring and “Escaping ...


Review: Raleigh Misceo Trail 2.0

Review: Raleigh Misceo Trail 2.0

Misceo is a Latin verb that means “to mix or blend.” The idea behind the Raleigh Misceo Trail 2.0—a flat-bar, 700c bike decked out with disc brakes and a suspension fork—is to blend the performance and versatility of a mountain bike with the comfort and street-friendliness of a hybrid. This machine is designed to tackle ...


Review: Trek Domane 4.5

Review: Trek Domane 4.5

While many brands have introduced “endurance” road bikes over the last few years, few have taken the idea to quite the extreme as Trek. The Domane was developed with considerable input from Swiss pro cyclist Fabian Cancellara, who is known for his steam-engine riding style, using his massive power output to crush cobblestones in the ...


Review: Cannondale Quick CX 3

Review: Cannondale Quick CX 3

It’s a warm morning. The sun’s out and spring has sprung. I’m stepping out of my back door with Cannondale’s Quick CX 3 ready to start the 11-mile commute to the office. My neighbor waves “good morning,” and it promises to be a great day for a ride. My commute isn’t difficult. There aren’t many ...


Review: Jamis Quest

Review: Jamis Quest

Jamis, continuing on even after steel road bikes seem to have fallen out of favor. In fact, this 2013 model marks the 25th anniversary of the Quest name. Built with an oversize Reynolds 631 tubeset paired with a full carbon fork, this is a thoroughly modern take on the classic steel road bike. Jamis makes ...


Review: Tektro HyRd hydraulic brakes

Review: Tektro HyRd hydraulic brakes

Mountain bikes have been reaping the benefits of hydraulic disc brakes for years now, and while they were finicky at first, the products available now are virtually maintenance-free. When they first began appearing on road bikes, mechanical discs were the obvious stop-gap—a brake cable is a brake cable, after all. But now that discs are ...


This Just In: Six $1,000 Bikes for Work and Play

This Just In: Six $1,000 Bikes for Work and Play

The new year draws near, and for the first issue of 2015, we’ve rounded up six bike in the $1,000 range as a representative sample at this popular price point. We’ve found it to be common dollar amount for a first “good” bike, or adding a second bike (or third or fourth, etcetera) to the ...


Field Tested: Shimano Ultegra Di2

Field Tested: Shimano Ultegra Di2

First off, this is NOT Ui2. There is no such thing and never will be. A lot of folks think the “D” is for Dura-Ace, the trim level where the electronically-controlled shifting first appeared. It actually stands for “Shimano Digital Integration Intelligence” – Di2, get it? In the six years since it’s introduction, the concept ...


Field Tested: Velo Orange Camargue

Field Tested: Velo Orange Camargue

The Camargue from Velo Orange is a bike designed to extend the ride beyond where the pavement ends. Named after an ancient French horse breed, the Camargue is as rugged as its wetland-dwelling namesake and capable of taking you on adventures both near and far and in a style normally reserved for bikes with much ...


Field Tested: Jamis Renegade Elite

Field Tested: Jamis Renegade Elite

  “Adventure” is all the rage these days, but the scope definition and scope of these adventures varies greatly from source to source. In this case, Jamis defines adventure with a heavy dose of performance and a side of versatility for their new go-anywhere, do-anything road bike. The highly engineered Renegade joins a stable of ...


SRAM expands 1×11 drivetrain to include gravel, road, adventure and more

SRAM expands 1×11 drivetrain to include gravel, road, adventure and more

What would you say if someone took your favorite bike, swapped out your go-to compact gearing or reliable triple crankset, and installed a single chainring with a ginormous 11-speed cassette? Then, to pour salt into the wound, told you to climb nearly 3,000 feet of elevation on California’s central coast? On nearly 15 miles of ...


Trek updates Farley fat bike to be bigger, faster

Trek updates Farley fat bike to be bigger, faster

As the fat bike market matures it is inevitably diversifying into specific product categories. Just as mountain bikes now have categories for downhill, cross country or trail riding, fat bike riders are realizing one size does not fit all. The Farley model has been hugely popular for Trek, but it was being pulled in two ...


Recommendo: Flat pedals for touring and bikepacking

Recommendo: Flat pedals for touring and bikepacking

Like many gear-oriented guys I know, when I first got into cycling I went all in. I bought the spandex shorts, the fingerless gloves, and of course, those wacky clip-in pedals. But now that I’m a little older and wiser, or at least a lot more pragmatic, I’ve taken a shine to flat pedals for ...


Kona adds some sweet road, cross and adventure bikes for 2016

Kona adds some sweet road, cross and adventure bikes for 2016

Kona has been expanding away from its mountain bike background lately, and the sneak peak we got on the 2016 models takes things to the next level. Here are the four models that stood out the most to me. Private Jake – $2,000 An all new aluminum frame offers modern updates like front and rear thru-axles, ...


First ride on the new 2016 Salsa bikes

First ride on the new 2016 Salsa bikes

Deadwood Somewhat surprising is this 29plus touring bike that Salsa says will be produced in somewhat limited numbers. More evolutionary than revolutionary, it’s kind of like what you’d expect to get if a Fargo and a Mukluk enjoyed a little too much bourbon around the campfire before snuggling into a sleeping bag together. It’s built ...


Leather saddle roundup: All that’s old is new again

Leather saddle roundup: All that’s old is new again

From Bicycle Times Issue #36 What’s old is new again it seems (aren’t hifi stereos and albums grand?), but what never gets old for serious cyclists is the leather saddle. Prior to Avocet developing the first gel saddle in the 1980s, nearly all saddles sold were leather. While the company that John Boultbee Brooks founded ...


Review: Bontrager Flare R Tail Light

Review: Bontrager Flare R Tail Light

Seven years ago, I rode my bike across the country with nothing but a $13 red bike light strapped to my seatpost. It wasn’t very bright and functioned more as hopeful optimism than a true safety device. Now I’m pleased to see that daytime running lights for bikes are being taken more seriously. The Bontrager Flare R ...


Review: Trek 920 Disc

Review: Trek 920 Disc

From Issue #37 Bicycle touring has changed a lot over the past few years, and while riders once rejoiced for a smooth ribbon of asphalt, a rough and rocky road is now de rigueur. Right on the Trek website you see signs of this preference as the new 920 Disc is classified under the banner ...


Review: Bontrager Old Man Winter boots

Review: Bontrager Old Man Winter boots

Cycling-specific, cold-weather boots have long seemed like a luxury item to me. That changed when I decided to get a fat bike for riding on snowy trails and decided to suck it up and pedal around my Colorado hometown all through winter. Suddenly, no overshoe was warm enough and no casual snow boot stiff or snug enough. After spending ...


Everything you ever wanted to know about titanium

Everything you ever wanted to know about titanium

Originally published in Bicycle Times Issue #31 OF BIRDS AND BIKES Titanium burst onto the scene in the 1950s in military aerospace applications. Favorable ratios of strength, durability and toughness to weight—along with its corrosion resistance and high temperature capabilities—made titanium the material of choice in airframes and aerospace hydraulic systems. The first bird to ...


Review: Bianchi Volpe Disc and Zurigo Disc

Review: Bianchi Volpe Disc and Zurigo Disc

Testers: Eric Mckeegan and Jon Pratt shared this back-to-back review in Bicycle Times Issue #38 Bianchi has been at the bike game for a long, long time. One hundred thirty years to be exact. Almost as old is Bianchi’s signature celeste green, perhaps the most recognizable color in cycling. While much of Bianchi’s history revolves around ...


Rawland unveils two new adventure bikes

Rawland unveils two new adventure bikes

Rawland Cycles has been filling a niche in the bike industry for a decade now as a small brand that produces versatile models that don’t fit neatly into any particular category. “There’s this awesome new zone where I think the fun is,” said Rawland’s Creative Director and VP, Jeremy Spencer. If your idea of fun is getting off ...


First Impression: Soma Wolverine

First Impression: Soma Wolverine

The original inspiration for Soma’s Wolverine was “monster cross,” but this frame’s geometry, versatility and even the screaming orange means you shouldn’t save it for just one, specific purpose. This type of bike is becoming more and more common, and we’re out to discover what sets this beast apart. Soma currently sells its Wolverine as a ...


Review: double-sided pedals

Review: double-sided pedals

VP Components R62 Price: $90 Tester: Eric McKeegan I’ve ridden a lot of these clipless/platform pedals. They are my go-to pedal for bikes that might do double-duty on long rides and casual trips around town. I’ve been using these for over a year now, and you can color me impressed. I have a few pairs ...


Review: Marin Four Corners

Review: Marin Four Corners

This year is Marin Bikes’ 30th anniversary, and it marks the introduction of an all-new “utilitour” model, the Four Corners. The neutral gray steel frame gives the bike a timeless look, while disc brakes, wide tire clearance and an upright riding position keep pace with cyclists’ expectations for adventure touring and bikepacking.


Frostbike ’18: Surly launches Midnight Special steel road bike

Frostbike ’18: Surly launches Midnight Special steel road bike

Surly has been coming out with a lot of new stuff lately, from the Pack Rat front-loader touring bike to the redesigned Pugsley fat bike. Here at Frostbike in Minneapolis, the brand launched yet another brand new bike, the Midnight Special. The folks at Surly describe the Midnight Special as a bike that can ride ...


Bombtrack Beyond 1

Bombtrack Beyond 1

Bombtrack Beyond 1 Price: $2,000 Sizes: XS, S, M, L (tested), XL Online: bombtrack.com Tester: Stephen Haynes Age: 41 Height: 5’11” Weight: 210 lbs. Inseam: 30 in. Price: $2,000 Sizes: XS, S, M, L (tested), XL Online: bombtrack.com Reach: 15.5” Stack: 25” Top Tube: 23.2” Head Tube: 7” BB Height: 11.5” Chainstays: 18” Weight: 27.5 ...


Review: Hutchinson Griffus tires

Review: Hutchinson Griffus tires

Editor’s note: For this review of Hutchinson’s Griffus tires, designed especially for gravity shredding in dry, loose trail conditions, we sent “Janker” Ted Jaramillo, an enduro racer riding for Transition and based in Northern New Mexico, to Digne-les-Bains, France with Hutchinson to test these tires at the EVO bike park. Janker Ted knows what a ...


Sea Otter Sizzlers

Sea Otter Sizzlers

Industry events and expos can be a brutal overloading of the senses. So many products and bikes and handshakes and cold beverages, it can be difficult to decipher what is what. Amongst the widgets and doodads, the big travel future bikes, there are the diamonds in the rough. While shuffling from booth to booth and ...


Cane Creek Helm Work Series 130 – First Impressions

Cane Creek Helm Work Series 130 – First Impressions

MSRP: $899 canecreek.com Cane Creek’s new Helm Work Series 130mm (WS130) fork is built around the success of the original longer legged Helm offering a robust chassis with 35mm stanchions but explicitly optimized for 130mm of travel. With a hollow 44mm offset crown, new bolt-on D-loc axle and revised internals, the WS130 was able to ...


Cane Creek eeWings Mountain Crankset

Cane Creek eeWings Mountain Crankset

Cane Creek eeWings Mountain crankset – $999 By Scott Williams Typically we would round-up the price of a particular product we are reviewing, but in the case of the Cane Creek eeWings crankset, that last dollar makes the price point a whole lot harder to swallow. Undoubtedly, the eeWings are not for everyone; they’re a ...


Paul Components Dropper Trigger

Paul Components Dropper Trigger

Paul Components Dropper Trigger – $90 paulcomp.com By Scott Williams  At this point, I couldn’t even count the number of different dropper levers which I have used. There are certainly a few that stick out my mind and would recommend to friends, some that functioned perfectly fine but were otherwise unmemorable and a handful that ...


Royal Racing: Race Jersey and Pants

Royal Racing: Race Jersey and Pants

This past weekend marked the start of this year’s World Cup campaign. Riders tackled the insanely fast and technical course in Maribor, Slovenia setting the stage for what is going to be another exciting season. If you’re a little like me, you can’t help but catch the bug when watching such wild and inspired riding. ...


Review: Wahoo Roam

Review: Wahoo Roam

$379. Being more or less glued to a technological device at all times, I cherish the precious time I have on my bike when I am not staring at a screen. I say this as a person with a Garmin watch who has been known to stop in the middle of the trail to answer ...


Matt’s Custom Crust Bike

Matt’s Custom Crust Bike

Crust Bikes custom frame Price: $1,475 for frame, estimate $4,000 complete Online: crustbikes.com Tester: Carolyne Whelan Age: 36 Weight: 143 lbs. Height: 5’ 5.5” Inseam: 32” Reach: 16.2” Stack: 24.4” Top Tube: 22.8” Head Tube: 63° Seat Tube: 74° BB Drop: 1.8” Chainstays: 16.5” Weight: 28.1 lbs. without pedals, specs based on size tested It’s ...


Review: Industry Nine A35 Stem

Review: Industry Nine A35 Stem

Industry Nine A35 Stem – $125 industrynine.com By Scott Williams   In late 2018, Industry Nine unveiled a new piece of bicycle candy further expanding the company’s componentry offerings. The A35 is an all-mountain stem for 35mm clamp diameter handlebars and is available in four lengths, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, and 60mm with +/- 6mm offset ...


Shimano GRX

Shimano GRX

If you missed it last week Shimano has released the newest addition to their family of componentry in GRX. Geared (pun totally intended) towards gravel, cyclocross and adventure riding, Shimano builds on their existing road platforms by offering components to meet the demands of steeper and more grueling terrain. The GRX group will be offered ...


First Impression: The New Santa Cruz Stigmata and Juliana Quincy

First Impression: The New Santa Cruz Stigmata and Juliana Quincy

Words and Bike Photos: Brett Rothmeyer Action Photos: Ian Collins Santa Cruz Bicycles has released the latest version of the Stigmata out into the wild. Along with the Stigmata, sister company Juliana has released the all-new Quincy to their line up. Building upon where the 2015 revamped Stigmata left off there are some great new ...


Shimano Releases New Deore XT and SLX 12-speed

Shimano Releases New Deore XT and SLX 12-speed

Photography by Paris Gore and Sterling Lorence The long-awaited updates to Shimano‘s Deore XT and SLX groups have finally arrived. Last year the top of the line XTR group took it to 12-speed with a lot of significant updates and upgrades to the componentry. As of today, XT and SLX enter the 12-speed arena with ...


Review: Native Eyewear – La Reina

Review: Native Eyewear – La Reina

We only have about 6 days of sun per year here in Pittsburgh, so when it does come out our pupils don’t really know what’s happening. Even without the sun, lots of crap flies up off the trails. Having a good pair of “sunnies” really makes a difference, whether it’s always bright out of the ...


Review: Santa Cruz Reserve Wheelset

Review: Santa Cruz Reserve Wheelset

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in issue 206 of Dirt Rag Magazine in our Stuff section. Like what you see? Subscribe now at dirtragmag.com/subscribe Santa Cruz Reserve Wheelset – $1,600 santacruzbicycles.com By Scott Williams “We (Santa Cruz) believe in building quality bicycles and components (hence the tagline ‘Quality Bicycles Since 1994’), and quality, to ...


Review: Steadyrack Mountain Bike Rack

Review: Steadyrack Mountain Bike Rack

Steadyrack Mountain Bike Rack $80 Figuring out how to store your bikes can be a real hassle, especially in smaller spaces. And if you have a small space, you probably also don’t have any spare space to turn into a makeshift warehouse of ugly hooks. I had been putting off getting a bike rack for ...


GT Force Carbon Expert

GT Force Carbon Expert

Tester: Stephen Haynes Age: 41 Height: 5’11” Weight: 200 lbs. Inseam: 30” Price: $4,200 Sizes: XS, S, M, L (tested), XL Online: gtbicycles.com >Reach: Low 18.3” Stack: Low 23.8” Top Tube: Low 24.4” Head Angle: Low 65° BB Height: Low 11.6” Chainstays: Low 17.1” Weight: 32 lbs w/o pedals, specs based on size tested in ...


First Impressions: Juliana’s new Maverick

First Impressions: Juliana’s new Maverick

Juliana Maverick $43oo-$8300 depending on build A few weeks ago, Dirt Rag had the opportunity to check out the new Maverick from Juliana on the trails of Buena Vista, Colorado (a post about the town and trails is coming soon). It had been a while since I rode out West, with those long, steep rock ...


New Bikes from Santa Cruz and Juliana

New Bikes from Santa Cruz and Juliana

A few weeks ago Dirt Rag was lucky enough to check out the new Maverick from Juliana. You can read all about it here. Santa Cruz, Juliana’s parent (or maybe big brother) company, also released a new bike: the 2nd generation Hightower. Both bikes are made for that grey space between cross country and gravity ...


In Print: Fast and Loose — PUSH Industries

In Print: Fast and Loose — PUSH Industries

Editor’s note: This story originally ran in issue 210 of Dirt Rag Magazine for our Fast and Loose segment. Like what you see? Subscribe today to catch issue 212 before it flies off the shelves. By Zach White Tucked away in an unassuming, moderately industrial cul-de-sac in Loveland, Colorado, sits the purpose-built, 7,300-square-foot headquarters of ...


Smith Optics Forefront 2 and Attack MTB

Smith Optics Forefront 2 and Attack MTB

When it comes to choosing helmets, I have a few requirements before I am willing to enter the public eye while wearing one. First and foremost, it has to fit my head correctly; I can’t stand a helmet that sits too high or too low, making an already awkward accessory that much more so. Second, ...


Review: Northwave Clan Shoes

Review: Northwave Clan Shoes

by Karl Rosengarth Northwave Clan Shoes — $150 Northwave has jumped into the flat shoe market with both feet. The company recently introduced two shoes specifically designed for flat pedals. The flagship Clan aims to satisfy schralp-y shredders. My Northwave contact told me that the Clan is designed for “downhill, slopestyle and aggressive trail riding,”  ...


In Print: Trek Slash 8

In Print: Trek Slash 8

Editor’s Note: This review originally appeared in issue 210 of Dirt Rag Magazine. Like what you see? Subscribe now to catch issue 212, flying into mailboxes soon. by Zach White 2019 Trek Slash 8 review Price: $3680 Sizes 15.5, 17.5, 18.5, 19.5, 21.5 (tested) Online: trekbikes.com Tester: Zach White Age: 45 Weight: 195 lbs. Height: ...


In Print: Mojo HD4

In Print: Mojo HD4

Editor’s Note: This feature first appeared in issue 210 of our print edition of Dirt Rag Magazine. Like what you see? Subscribe today to catch issue 212, in production now and soon to set sail. Ibis Mojo HD4 Price: $6,999 Sizes: S, M, L (tested), XL Online: ibiscycles.com Tester: Brett Rothmeyer Age: 41 Weight: 170 ...


Fast and Smooth: Four Carbon Wheelsets in Test

Fast and Smooth: Four Carbon Wheelsets in Test

By Jess Nelson and Scott Williams A new wheelset is one of the best places to look when you want to make a component upgrade from the stock parts that came on your bike. In most cases, a new set of wheels could shed a pound or more and offer a faster-engaging hub that’s serviceable.  ...


LIV Intrigue Advanced 1

LIV Intrigue Advanced 1

LIV Intrigue Advanced 1 Price: $5,565 Sizes: XS, S, M (tested), L Online: liv-cycling.com Tester: Carolyne Whelan Age: 36 Weight: 145 lbs. Height: 5’ 5.5” Inseam: 32” Reach: 17” Stack: 23.1” Top Tube: 23.4” Head Tube: 66.5° Seat Tube: 74.5° BB Height: 14” BB Drop: .6” Chainstays: 17.2” Weight: 27.9 lbs. without pedals, specs based ...


Clothes to get you going

Clothes to get you going

This summer, we were sent tons of clothes to test out on the trails both at home and on the road. Some of them fit better than others, so here are a few winners from the piles. SHREDLY MTB Short: The Dilley $98 There’s a lot to like about these shorts (which also come in ...


Santa Cruz Chameleon

Santa Cruz Chameleon

By Scott Williams INTRO Ripping through singletrack on a singlespeed is where I find my ultimate happy place, but each year, the niche I connect with continues to sink further into the depths of a forgotten past. From a business perspective, I fully get it, but that doesn’t mean I like it. The weight difference ...


Scott Ransom 910 Bike

Scott Ransom 910 Bike

By Scott Williams As an avid snowboarder in the winter months, charging down the mountain on two wheels in summer was a natural progression. It’s the same set of teary eyes trying to weave through the forest and somehow putting the blindfold over the part of your brain that detects fear, the amygdala. Each year, ...


Industry Nine Rounds Out All-Mountain Stem Collection with A318

Industry Nine Rounds Out All-Mountain Stem Collection with A318

Industry Nine is known for their pretty bike baubles. Not just because they are stunning, colorful additions to any bike build that will make your ride sparkle (and match!) with their anodization and CNC craftmanship, they are also lightweight and high quality. Dirt Rag visited their Asheville space back in February and reviewed the A35 ...


Maxxis Introduces new Troy Brosnan Signature Tire: The Dissector

Maxxis Introduces new Troy Brosnan Signature Tire: The Dissector

This weekend at Crankworx Whistler, Maxxis is launching a new signature tire, created with downhill World Cup champion Troy Brosnan. The Dissector is designed especially for dry, loose conditions. Beginning in early 2018, Brosnan and Maxxis engineers worked together to find the right balance of rolling speed, cornering traction, and braking traction for the Dissector. ...


Race Face introduces its new Æffect R crankset and dropper post

Race Face introduces its new Æffect R crankset and dropper post

Race Face announces today its new Æffect R crankset, dropper post and lever. The crankset is designed to keep an enduro-strength crank in the weight-range of a typical XC crank (632 g for DM alloy without bottom bracket, or 696 g for DM steel without bottom bracket). It uses forged 7050 AL construction added stiffness ...


Donnelly Cycling X’plor MSO Tire

Donnelly Cycling X’plor MSO Tire

Donnelly Cycling $72.00 per tire What makes the ideal gravel tire? Is it size, tread pattern, or lack of rolling resistance. Likely for most of us, it’s a combination of the three. When I started looking for the perfect mixed surface tire, the Donnelly X’Plor MSO caught my attention. When Donnelly emerged as Clement a ...


Two Fish Unlimited Quick Adapters

Two Fish Unlimited Quick Adapters

Twofish Unlimited Quick Adapters – $15 – $35 By Scott Williams During my testing period of the Santa Cruz Chameleon, I signed up for the Hilly Billy Roubaix just outside of Morgantown, West Virginia. Calling this event a gravel race would be a bit of a reach, even though there is no singletrack you’re just ...


REEB Dikyelous2 Single Speed

REEB Dikyelous2 Single Speed

Intro Craft beer and mountain biking go hand in hand. Even if you fall on the nonalcoholic drinker side of the equation, the correlation between the two is evident. It’s the post-ride happy hour, mid-ride vista paired with a trail “soda” or hell, I’ve even witnessed cold ones stored in racers’ aid station bags. Beer ...


Dirt Components Rough Country Wheels

Dirt Components Rough Country Wheels

Editors Note: This review was originally part of Issue 211, if you would like to receive copies of Dirt Rag to your door so you can impress your friends Subscribe Today! By subscribing to Dirt Rag now you will not only be supporting independent mountain bike journalism but you will also be receiving our next ...


ENVE M6 vs M7 Carbon Bar and Stem: Which is the right one for you?

ENVE M6 vs M7 Carbon Bar and Stem: Which is the right one for you?

Name: William Kirk Age: 36 Height: 5’10 Weight: 190lbs Weights (In Grams) M6 Stem: 85 grams (40mm) M6 Bar: 190 grams M7 Stem: 35 grams (35mm) M7 Bar: 230 grams Price M6 Stem: $280 M6 Bar: $160 M7 Stem: $280 M7 Bar: $170 www.enve.com Standards are a constantly moving target in the cycling world, and ...


Review: Fox Factory Series 32 Step-Cast

Review: Fox Factory Series 32 Step-Cast

Admittedly, since I’ve been running a Fox 34 Step-Cast on my hardtail for some time now, I was not exactly eager to try the new 32 Step-Cast. The original 32 Step-Cast, while light as a feather, was an absolute noodle in the most unpleasant way. I was not the only one who felt that way ...


Review: Industry Nine 101 Trail S Wheelset

Review: Industry Nine 101 Trail S Wheelset

Industry Nine 101 Trail S 29er wheelset Starting today, complete tubeless-ready aluminum wheelsets featuring the Industry Nine 101 hubs are available for $750. The wheelsets are offered with either Trail S or Enduro S rims and feature 28-hole i9 101 hubs, and Sapim Race J-bend spokes laced 3-cross. Hub options include Boost (QR and TA) ...


Ibis releases Mojo HD5 featuring Traction Tune

Ibis releases Mojo HD5 featuring Traction Tune

It has been a busy season for Ibis and they have just added a new member to the lineup with the Mojo HD5. The HD5 builds on what the HD4 started, a 27.5 enduro bike made for tackling the toughest of tracks. Along with the HD5 comes Traction Tune Suspension. Ibis’ full-suspension models use the ...


Specialized Stumpjumper ST Comp Alloy 29

Specialized Stumpjumper ST Comp Alloy 29

INTRO Back in ‘81 when the first Specialized Stumpjumper hit the floors of shops, it sported a rigid fork, cantilever brakes, 26-inch wheels and a high-post. Today, while the Stumpjumper name is consistent, the bike itself has changed a lot over the decades. Available in three modes of rowdiness with options in carbon or aluminum ...


Olivetti Thunderpig Bike

Olivetti Thunderpig Bike

Let us begin with a bit of backstory on the Olivetti Thunder Pig. Leading up to the 2018 NAHBS event, (that’s the North American Handmade Bicycle Show for those of you not hip to the acronym) I scoured the list of builders looking for people to interview in the run-up to the show. On the ...


Starling Murmur 29 Factory

Starling Murmur 29 Factory

By Eric McKeegan While an English bicycle company building steel frames isn’t that noteworthy, Starling stands out with a number of full-suspension bikes, including a single-speed-specific downhill bike. These bikes have an unexpected foundation, Starling founder Joe McEwan spent about 20 years as an aerospace engineer, mostly testing carbon fiber structures. So, how does a ...


Favorite MTB Accessory Series: Singlespeed Tour Divide Record holder Alexandera Houchin

Favorite MTB Accessory Series: Singlespeed Tour Divide Record holder Alexandera Houchin

Editors Note: This the first installment of an ongoing series where we find out from the mountain biking community what their go-to accessories are for tackling the trails, enhancing the ride and saving the day. Thanks to Alexandera Houchir for volunteering to be first  Alexandera Houchin recently set a new women’s singlespeed record at the ...


Review: Viathon M.1 GX Eagle

Review: Viathon M.1 GX Eagle

By Brett Rothmeyer Online:www.viathonbicycles.com Price: $1998 Last year before the annual Sea Otter Classic, there were rumblings of a high-end Walmart bike coming to the market. Yes, high-end bikes and Walmart are an easy segway to a punchline, but it is no mystery that the Walton family has a vested interest in the bike industry. ...


Review: Osprey Seral 1.5 Liter Lumbar Pack

Review: Osprey Seral 1.5 Liter Lumbar Pack

There is no denying the resurgence of fanny packs. Love them or hate them; they have their benefits. Osprey is known for its quality backpacks, mountaineering packs, hydration packs, and some stellar lifestyle bags.  The Details The Osprey Seral 1.5Liter Lumbar Pack has a breathable back panel, dual-zippered hip belt pockets, a blinker light attachment ...


Review: Fox Factory Series 34 Step-Cast

Review: Fox Factory Series 34 Step-Cast

While the standard Fox 32 chassis received a major face-lift in creating the first generation 32 Step-Cast, the changes to 34 Step-Cast chassis were not quite as extreme after going under the knife. Aside from the distinct external steps in the lower casting, the most notable change to the (MY2019) 34 Step-Cast chassis is locking ...


Marzocchi Goes Purple for Rampage

Marzocchi Goes Purple for Rampage

It’s October and in the mountain bike world, which means Red Bull Rampage, the most iconic freeride event of the year. Marzocchi riders have been Rampage frontrunners ever since the godfather, Wade Simmons won the very first edition in 2001. Beginning on Monday, October 21st, in an ode to Marzocchi’s heritage, all team riders will ...


Cannondale Habit Carbon 3

Cannondale Habit Carbon 3

Cannondale Habit Carbon 3 Price: $4,000 Sizes: S, M, L (tested), Online: cannondale.com Where were you “The Year Punk Broke”? It was 1991, sometime between late August and mid-October, Nirvana had just released “Smells Like Teen Spirit” into the world and everything, as we knew the popular culture to be, was about to be flipped ...


Old Bike, New Look

Old Bike, New Look

By Stephen Haynes Whether cutting the sleeves off a brand-new T-shirt or remodeling the interior of a home, the desire to tailor one’s possessions is a siren song most of us succumb to at some stage of our existence. It’s human nature to personalize artifacts to reflect whatever self-image we’ve contrived, imbuing these things with ...


Rocky Mountain Releases Limited Instinct Carbon 99

Rocky Mountain Releases Limited Instinct Carbon 99

If you are the type that likes the finer things in limited quantities to show your friends just how fancy you are, well then feast your eyes on the Rocky Mountain Instinct Carbon 99. The Instinct 99 will only be available in the US and Canada and there will only be 20 made available in ...


Review: Pivot Vault – Pro Ultegra

Review: Pivot Vault – Pro Ultegra

The Pivot Vault has been positioned as a versatile drop-bar bike since its debut in 2013. Built for gravel, dirt, and road, its geometry has always leaned in favor of the cyclocross world more than the endurance scene. Now, with the latest geometry tweaks on the fourth-generation Vault, Pivot maintains the focus on high performance ...


Review: 45NRTH Ragnarok boots and Torvald jacket

Review: 45NRTH Ragnarok boots and Torvald jacket

With the cold, fluctuating temperatures of the transitory seasons of autumn and spring, cycling gear can be hard to pin down. Feet get cold easily on metal pedals while freezing puddles splash up from the freeze-thaw trails. Meanwhile, the start and end of a ride can be exceedingly cold, especially on the way to and ...


Review: Reeb Sqweeb V2 SFP

Review: Reeb Sqweeb V2 SFP

As the Reeb Sqeeb V2 rolled up to my art studio, the aptly-named “Illusion Blue” paint job and sparkling silver accents made me nostalgic for my childhood days playing with Hot Wheels race cars in the driveway. As a craftsman myself, it’s heartening to know that I can roll into Longmont, Colorado, and shoot the ...


Review: OneUp Components Dropper and Remote

Review: OneUp Components Dropper and Remote

Dropper posts are typically a tough item to review; they work, or they don’t. In the case of the OneUp Dropper, the company not only delivers a lightweight post that is reliable, but OneUp Components has also managed to provide riders even more travel from their dropper. First, OneUp shaved every millimeter the company could ...


Review: Sombrio Chinook 2 Jacket

Review: Sombrio Chinook 2 Jacket

This lightweight Chinook 2 pullover windbreaker from Sombrio has a rear pocket that the jacket easily tucks into to transform it into a fanny pack. Weighing about as much as four slices of American cheese (talk about breaking wind, eh?), I’ve found this jacket to be a solid outer layer for chilly days that require ...


Long Sleeve Bolt T-Shirts and More Dirt Rag Swag!

Long Sleeve Bolt T-Shirts and More Dirt Rag Swag!

Did you miss out on our pre-order for the new Bolt™ logo T’s and Sweatshirts? Well, you are in luck! We have a limited number of long sleeve T’s in black with a Mustard yellow version of the Bolt™ design. Get yours while the getting is good, these won’t be around for long! Scoop yours ...


Review: Jamis Portal A1+

Review: Jamis Portal A1+

The 2019 Jamis Portal A1+ is a 130 mm trail bike whose versatility is limited only by the rider’s imagination. One part cross-country lover, two parts enduro thrillist, the Portal will take a rider wherever they wish to go without the slightest indication of a complaint. Built around the innovative 3VO suspension system designed by ...


Review: Lowa Molveno GTX Mid Boots

Review: Lowa Molveno GTX Mid Boots

For those that want a semi-sporty look and feel to their winter-time footwear, the new Molveno GTX boot from Lowa might be just the ticket. The Molveno GTX has all the trappings of a relatively hearty winter boot (full-grain leather and fabric upper, GORE-TEX Panda lining, and insulated soles), in a sneaker-like package. A thermoplastic ...


Review: Big Agnes Camp Out

Review: Big Agnes Camp Out

Adventure comes in as many shapes and sizes as the intrepid folks who pursue them. While the resulting pursuits may differ in the extreme, the one constant is the need to sleep outside at some point. Big Agnes sent over a few choice items for us to put to use while endeavoring to find our ...


Review: Tacx Neo 2T Smart Trainer

Review: Tacx Neo 2T Smart Trainer

Indoor bicycle trainers hover in a weird space in the consciousness of most cyclists; Falling somewhere on a spectrum between “absolutely not” to “necessary evil” to a “performance-boosting fitness tool.” Whether you’re for, against or agnostic when it comes to indoor bicycle trainers is moot, they’re out there and they’re growing more feature-rich by the ...


SALE!

SALE!

So many sales! Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Taco Tuesday, the list goes on and on. Rather than pick one day or another we are going for the whole block! From now until December 2 you can get 20% off all in-stock merchandise by using the code “MEOW” at check out. Head to ...


Holiday Guide and Digital Issue

Holiday Guide and Digital Issue

‘Tis the season for giving, and for guidance for that matter, and we have done both. Fresh out of the factory just in time for finding gifts for that special mountain biker in your life we present our Holiday Gift Guide! The best part about it is that it is free! That’s right, absolutely free ...


Review: Saris MTR-1 Bike Rack

Review: Saris MTR-1 Bike Rack

The MTR (Modular Tray Rack) 1-Bike Rack from Saris is a slightly different take on the traditional platform rack. While offering the same or similar benefits of its competitors, the MTR 1 is trying to differentiate itself with the addition of being able to nest the trays, by way of pivoting the trays themselves 90° ...


Review: Ibis Ripley

Review: Ibis Ripley

My relationship with the new Ibis Ripley began some time ago. Way back in April, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the release ride for the latest version of the Ripley at Ibis Headquarters in Santa Cruz, California. Along with owner Scot Nicol, a group of us headed to the hills surrounding Santa ...


Be Kind Rewind: Carbonframes Onyx

Be Kind Rewind: Carbonframes Onyx

Walking the expo at this spring’s Dirt Fest Pennsylvania, I couldn’t help but marvel at all the killer new bikes on display. As a fan of vintage bikes, a vast majority of my experience with frame construction materials is constrained to steel, aluminum and titanium. Carbon fiber, at least as we know it today, was ...


Review: Ibis Ripmo AF

Review: Ibis Ripmo AF

The Ibis Ripmo AF landed on our doorstep almost immediately after returning the latest version of the Ripley back to Ibis. After spending the bulk of the summer on the Ibis Ripley and having heard so many good things about the Ripmo, I was eager to see how the first aluminum bike from Ibis in ...


Review: Skullcandy Vert Earbuds

Review: Skullcandy Vert Earbuds

Music is good. Mountain biking is good. Listening to music while mountain biking? Good, good, good. Yes, one should monitor the level at which the music is played so as to be aware of one’s surroundings and to be respectful of other trail users. Outside of that, have fun starring in your own fantasy video ...


Review: Canyon Neuron AL 7.0

Review: Canyon Neuron AL 7.0

Did you know you can place an order with Taco Bell using the restaurant chains’ mobile app? Simply choose the items you desire via push-button selection, whether it’s a Party Pack of tacos, or a six-pack of Burrito Supremes (hold the guac), select your local franchise, pay using the register built right into the app, ...


Pivot introduces the LES Singlespeed

Pivot introduces the LES Singlespeed

Earlier this year when Pivot Cycles revamped the company’s flagship cross-country race bike, the LES SL was no longer sporting the company’s signature Swinger II dropout system. Many A select few (including myself) speculated where to turn for a high-end carbon singlespeed that offered sliding-dropouts, modern hardtail geometry and the ability to run a proper ...


Review: Chumba Sendero

Review: Chumba Sendero

Chumba’s lineup offers two hardtails: the Stella and Sendero. As the Stella collects its accolades on the cross-country and endurance race scene, the Sendero is off-course looking for anything and everything to pop off. Downcountry, a fun cross-country bike or simply modern hardtail geometry, whatever you want to call it, the Sendero is titillating. THE ...


Review: Camelbak Repack LR4 1.5 Liter Lumbar Pack

Review: Camelbak Repack LR4 1.5 Liter Lumbar Pack

In 1989, Camelbak founder Michael Eidson was competing in a 100-mile road race in the summer heat of Texas. Eidson, an emergency medical technician, decided to fill an IV bag with water and slip it into a tube sock. Then he stuffed it into the back of his jersey and secured it with a clothespin. ...


Review: Patagonia Nine Trails 1.5-Liter Waist Pack 8L

Review: Patagonia Nine Trails 1.5-Liter Waist Pack 8L

In 1973 a dirtbag climber named Yvonne Chouinard founded Patagonia, Inc. The company has had some ups and downs since it opened, but its growth and popularity with the outdoor community, fashionistas, teens and soccer moms are undeniable. Patagonia also takes pride in its sustainability and being a voice in the outdoor industry for environmental ...


Review: Sombrio Fender Hoodie

Review: Sombrio Fender Hoodie

The colder days are here in western Pennsylvania. Although it may not be snowing today, it is cold and a bit rainy out. The trails are frozen in the early morning, so it’s best to get out to ride before the afternoon sun raises temperatures enough to soften the dirt into mud. We often ride ...


First Impression: Whisky Parts Co. No. 9 Boost LT Fork

First Impression: Whisky Parts Co. No. 9 Boost LT Fork

Whisky has just released a new fork that should make the minimalist mountain biker and weight-conscious bikepacker quite happy. Sticking with their number system, Whisky has assigned this model as the No. 9 Boost LT. Coming in at 660g, it is quite lite for a mountain bike fork.  I mounted this sleek beast on my ...


Review: Marin Pine Mountain

Review: Marin Pine Mountain

Named for a fire road and peak in Marin County, the 2020 Pine Mountain 1 from venerable bicycle manufacturer Marin has been in and out of the company’s lineup since its inception in 1986. The no-nonsense, steel hardtail has traversed the history of mountain biking, morphing to maintain relevance along the way.  THE BIKE The ...


Review: OneUp EDC Stem and Tool System

Review: OneUp EDC Stem and Tool System

Everyone from apparel designers to component manufacturers have been on a Sisyphean quest to get the gear we carry off our backs.  The OneUp EDC (Everyday Carry) Tool System was introduced in 2017. In order to use the system, riders had to cut threads inside the fork’s steerer tube using the company’s tap. Earlier this ...


Review: Pedal Ed Jary All-Mountain Riding Kit

Review: Pedal Ed Jary All-Mountain Riding Kit

The brainchild of Japanese fashion designer Hideto Suzuki, PedalEd was one man’s answer to a deficiency in cycling apparel that serviced both the rider and lifestyle. Searching for a way to offset the stress of living in bustling Tokyo, Suzuki was turned on to cycling as a way to manage that stress and bring balance ...


Review: GT Avalanche

Review: GT Avalanche

I thought it would be interesting to get a pair of "blue collar" mountain bikes (affordable, yet capable, bikes), and have two different riders test them.

By Lee Klevins and Jeffrey D. Guerrero


Review: Kona NuNu

Review: Kona NuNu

With a spec list including a 7005 aluminum alloy frame, LX rear derailleur, Mavic X138 rims, STX-RC cranks, Avid 1.0 brakes and an RST 381 suspension fork, the $700 NuNu was designed to deliver comfort and durability…

By Karl Rosengarth


K2 Zed 5.0

K2 Zed 5.0

The Zed 5.0 is K2’s second-in-line hardtail, keeping with Dirt Rag’s effort to present affordable “blue collar bikes.” I was determined to put as many miles on it as possible, at the expense of my own, now neglected, mounts.

By Joel Kennedy


KHS ProST

KHS ProST

KHS has a great idea: softails for the masses. Usually you’d have to spend 3 or 4 grand for the pleasure of owning a short-travel, pivotless suspension bike.

By Philip Keyes


White Brothers XC3

White Brothers XC3

By the end of the test, I’d put over two months on the XC3, and I couldn’t remember having any negative riding experiences. Fortunately, the stock springs worked well for my weight and riding style.


Review: Shimano pedals and more

Review: Shimano pedals and more

We test some gloves, some pedals and some tires in this article!

By Dirt Rag Staff


Hopey Steering Damper

Hopey Steering Damper

You may recall seeing steering dampers a few years back. These bulky friction disks had nothing on Tim Hopey’s bicycle steering damper.

By Adam Lipinski


Willits Brand New Sheriff

Willits Brand New Sheriff

To Wes Williams of Willits Brand Bicycles, the only option when it comes to mountain bike wheels is 29 inch.

By Adam Lipinski


Kona Beer

Kona Beer

This is the bicycle formerly known as Bear Dee-Lux. Since Kona owners like beer, and someone else already makes a bike named Bear, the name has been changed to protect the innocent.

By Maurice Tierney


Gunnar Rockhound

Gunnar Rockhound

The heart of the Rockhound is its air hardened steel frameset: Reynolds 853 main triangle and True Temper OX Platinum stays. Both of these air hardened steels have higher strength-to-weight ratios than conventional chromoly..

By Karl Rosengarth


Gunnar Crosshairs

Gunnar Crosshairs

According to Richard Schwinn (top dog at Gunnar), the Crosshairs is a general purpose road bike disguised as a cyclocross bike. Gasp, did he say ROAD bike? In Dirt Rag? Yew becha.

By Karl Rosengarth


WTB Nanoraptor 29

WTB Nanoraptor 29

The Nanoraptor is the only mountain tire available for big wheeled mountain bikes (see the Vicious Cycles Motivator bike review in this issue). Getting that first "mountain" tire was crucial…

By Karl Rosengarth


Vicious Cycles Motivator

Vicious Cycles Motivator

Just what is a 29" inch mountain bike? It’s a mountain bike designed to use 700c rims. When you install WTB’s 700c Nanoraptor mountain tire, the tire’s outside diameter measures 29".

By Karl Rosengarth


Matt Chester Utilitiman

Matt Chester Utilitiman

One blustery January day, I get a call from Matt Chester, and he tells me he wants to build me a bike for product testing. He says I’d be the perfect tester because I like to ride in the winter, I dig rigid forks…

By Karl Rosengarth


Review: Merlin Fat Beat

Review: Merlin Fat Beat

When I asked Merlin’s designer to describe the concept behind the Fat Beat, he told me he wanted to make an XC bike with enough suspension to take the edge off, without wasting pedaling energy or inducing a lot of waggle.

By Karl Rosengarth


Jamis Diablo Pro

Jamis Diablo Pro

Dual suspension, disk brakes, out of the box at 27.6 lbs. The Hayes hydraulic disks have slotted bosses for easy, no-drag setup.

By Karl Rosengarth


Review: Santa Cruz Chameleon

Review: Santa Cruz Chameleon

Santa Cruz designed their Chameleon to perform like its reptilian namesake. Their goal was to produce a versatile bike adaptable to multiple environments-cross country, dual slalom and single speeding.

By Karl Rosengarth


Review: IronReview: Horse ARS 7.0

Review: IronReview: Horse ARS 7.0

Iron Horse designed the ARS 7.0 to be an entry level sport racer. Their goal was to make a light, dependable bike that was affordable. Iron Horse’s approach was to fashion double butted 7005 series aluminum tubing…

By Karl Rosengarth


Review: Strong custom steel hardtail

Review: Strong custom steel hardtail

The differences between a production built bike and a custom designed frame are numerous, but it all boils down to fit and function. Just as a custom tailored suit fits you like an "off the rack" brand could only hope to…

By Chris Cosby


Review: Retrotec custom steel hardtail

Review: Retrotec custom steel hardtail

Retrotec is more of a tribute to an idea and tradition than it is an actual company. Curtis Inglis builds his own fillet brazed Inglis Cycles frames on his family’s Napa Valley farm, but he also builds Retrotec frames…

By Joel Kennedy


Review: Phat Cycles First Class Cruiser

Review: Phat Cycles First Class Cruiser

The First Class is a one-bike parade—a traffic stopper and a jaw dropper. It’s an expression of street attitude in chromoly and steel. This is not a bike that is comfortable with Lycra. Denim or leather would work better.

By Chris Cosby


Review: Dean Ace 3.0

Review: Dean Ace 3.0

I’ve raced and ridden the Dean in just about every situation and location I could this summer, and as you might have guessed from the above description, I never wanted a better bike in the past three months.

By Jeff Guerrero


Review: Santa Cruz Heckler

Review: Santa Cruz Heckler

…For my money (all loaners), the bike with the least compromise and the most surprising performance has been the 2003 Santa Cruz Heckler.

By Joel Kennedy


Review: Marin Mount Vision

Review: Marin Mount Vision

Jeff flogs the Marin Mount Vision, which features some interesting suspension.

By Jeff Lockwood


Review: Rocky Mountain ETSX-50

Review: Rocky Mountain ETSX-50

When the opportunity to test Rocky Mountain’s adjustable travel (3.5", 4" or 4.5"), disc specific, full suspension ETSX-50 was presented, I jumped at the chance and haven’t looked back

By Jeff Guerrero


Review: Tomac 98 Special Comp

Review: Tomac 98 Special Comp

It’s the middle son of a three bike 98 Special family, and it’s intended purpose is long-haul, aggressive trail riding of the all around variety, as you might guess by its 98mm of rear wheel travel.

By Joel Kennedy


Merlin XLM

Merlin XLM

By Doug Pippel


Review: Cannondale Jekyll 600

Review: On One Inbred Singlespeed

Review: On One Inbred Singlespeed

On-One wants you to know the “Inbred was designed as a bike for riding. No fancy clever bits…” No new revelation here. Singlespeeds are all about the bare basics in a bike. After test riding the Inbred singlespeed for over a month, it finally occurred to me what this British bicycle company might be implying. I believe these Brits have full confidence in not having component or frame failures. The Inbred is “kid proof”, “bullet proof”…it’s overbuilt.


SRAM 9.0 Components

SRAM 9.0 Components

By Karl Rosengarth


Review: 661 Gear: Full Bravo Full-Face Helmet

Review: 661 Gear: Full Bravo Full-Face Helmet

By David Alden

I’m always a bit apprehensive when it comes to testing safety gear. I mean, to test shoes you ride and walk around a lot, to test shifters and derailleurs you ride and shift a lot and so on. So am I supposed to crash to write a full and complete review on this stuff?


Review: 661 Gear: Straight Jacket Chest Protector

Review: Razor Rock Racing Singlespeed/Slalom Hubs and Stiffy Disc Brake Levers

Review: 661 Gear: DJ Elbow Pads

Review: 661 Gear: MTB Knee & Shin Guards

Review: Ritchey Z.E.D. Race WCS Tires

Review: Geax Arrojo 2.0

Review: Kenda Klimax Lite Tires

Panaracer Pyro

Panaracer Pyro

By Mitchell


Review: Michelin COMP 32 All Condition

Review: Michelin Wildgripper COMP 24.1

Review: Michelin Wildgripper COMP 16

Review: Koski Contour Gel Saddle

Review: Timex Ironman Triathlon Digital 50 Lap Heart Rate Fitness System

Salsa Cross Brake Levers

Salsa Cross Brake Levers

These $35 levers, for cyclocross riders, are unique in that they alone are compatible with a 31.8 drop handlebar.

By Thanita Adams

As I’m primarily a mountain biker, I was more than happy to give these brake levers a try; they add levers to the top of drop bar cross bikes, which to me feels much more natural. Keep in mind, though, that (as with all such levers) stability and control are compromised a bit because of the relatively centered placement. But, no biggie.


‘Beckler’ – Santa Cruz Heckler With 650B Wheels

‘Beckler’ – Santa Cruz Heckler With 650B Wheels

With help from Santa Cruz, White Brothers, Pacenti and a few other companies, we’ve got an interesting creation here at Dirt Rag HQ—a longer-travel 650B bike.

By Eric McKeegan


Jeff Jones 3D Spaceframe

Jeff Jones 3D Spaceframe

This is the kind of bike that turns the heads of both riders and casual observers, with its graceful lines masterfully executed in titanium, but this bicycle is about much more than good looks.

By Karen Brooks


Magura Durin Marathon 120

Magura Durin Marathon 120

The Durin lead the way through technical rock gardens with all the precision that I’ve come to expect from a top-notch fork. It’s a solid choice for the epic rider and/or racer.


RockShox Reba 29

RockShox Reba 29

The original Reba was a solid fork, and the new Team model by far eclipses its performance in every way. The 2009 Reba has a much plusher, far more bottomless feeling than the old fork.


Igleheart Traditional New England Segmented Fork

Igleheart Traditional New England Segmented Fork

The specially made True Temper OX Gold heat-treated blades of this fork were hard at work smoothing out the ride underneath me. The accuracy and precise feel of the trail this fork translates is mind-blowing.


Review: Santa Cruz Tallboy

Review: Santa Cruz Tallboy

By Maurice Tierney


Review: Fox RP23 Shock with Boost Valve

Review: Niner W.F.O.

Review: Niner W.F.O.

By Justin Steiner


Fox F29 FIT RLC Fork

Fox F29 FIT RLC Fork

Justin reviews the Fox F29 FIT RLC Fork, and talks about how Fox is using cartridge style dampers for this fork.


Review: GT Marathon Carbon Expert

Review: Felt Nine Race

Review: Felt Nine Race

By Matt Kasprzyk


Review: SuperCo Charger

Review: Velocity P35 Rims

Review: Velocity P35 Rims

Velocity P35 Rims are a reasonable choice for weight-conscious all-mountain riders looking for a sure-footed rim that’s light enough to pedal all day.

By Karl Rosengarth


Review: KHS XTC 535

Review: KHS XTC 535

By Lee Klevens


Review: Fox 32 TALAS 29 FIT Terralogic Fork

Review: Gary Fisher Rumblefish

Under Test: Trek Fuel EX9

Under Test: Trek Fuel EX9

With a tip of the helmet (and any required apologies) to The Godfather, may he rest in peace:

Come here sister
Papa’s in the swing
He ain’t too hip now
but I can dig that new breed bike;
He ain’t no drag
He’s got a brand new bag

Please allow me to introduce my current test bike, a brand-spanking-new 2008 Trek Fuel Ex9.

Trek Fuel EX9


2008 Fuel EX9: Test Update #1

2008 Fuel EX9: Test Update #1

If you’ve read my first post on the Fuel EX9, then you you already know that it’s my new Dirt Rag test bike. That first post was made on November 3rd, but I’ve actually been riding the EX9 since October 5th, so I reckon it’s high time for an update.


2008 Fuel EX9: Size Matters!

2008 Fuel EX9: Size Matters!

In my previous post I talked about the fact that Trek offers the Fuel EX lineup two different "medium" sizes, and how I’ve always been a bit of a tweener—able to ride either a medium or a large bike, but often feeling that neither size fit me perfectly. The more I ride this (18.5") bike, the happier I am that larger Trek offer it in "multiple medium" sizing. The 18.5" bike fits me like a dream.


BIG DUMMY-in da house

BIG DUMMY-in da house

After years designing, testing, riding, redesigning, retesting, reriding Surly is just about ready to release their cargo bike, the Big Dummy. It is based around the XtracycleSport Utility Bicycle concept. We’ve had a pre-production sample in house for a little over a week. Actually it has spent little time here, as I rode it home ...


2008 Fuel EX9: Post Punk Pondering

2008 Fuel EX9: Post Punk Pondering

Usually it’s meant as a joke, but this time there was more than a grain of truth to the old saying: Bike testing is a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. You see, the 2007 edition of the Punk Bike Enduro, was a cold, rainy and muddy affair. But, such is the life of a test pilot—needless to say, I soldiered on.


New Test Bike: 2008 Raleigh Sojourn

New Test Bike: 2008 Raleigh Sojourn

Drum roll please… There you have it, sneak peak of my newest test bike. Have to say I’m really looking forward to this one. The Sojourn is a really striking bicycle. The off-white (technically “sand”) with with no decals, save the top tube protector, and leather bar tape and saddle make for a sharp look. ...


Studded Tires in the House

Studded Tires in the House

We recently scored a bunch of studded tires from Schwalbe, Nokian and Kenda. Good thing, too, as we’ve just had one of our typical winter ice storms here in the Northeast: Shorty after their arrival I put on a set of Nokian Gazza Extreme 294 tires in 29er flavor and have had a couple rides ...


WTB/Rocky Mountain press camp

WTB/Rocky Mountain press camp

Stage two of Maurice’s whirlwind tour. After cold, rainy Macon Georgia, I headed west to cold, rainy San Luis Obispo, California for a combined Rocky Mountain/WTB press camp. The agenda? Face time with WTB and Rocky staff to learn more about the latest tires from WTB and the 2008 Slayer SXC bike from Rocky Mountain. ...


Brain Fart: smorgasbord

Brain Fart: smorgasbord

I remembered I needed to post on the blog today as the in-house schedule has rotated back to me. Most times my rides to and from work are full of interesting thoughts (at least to me), but of course my mind was pretty blank today, except I needed to hurry to work with the coffee ...


First Rides: Kona’s Hei Hei 2-9 and Kula Deluxe 2-9

First Rides: Kona’s Hei Hei 2-9 and Kula Deluxe 2-9

I’m sure most of you saw my World Tour report from the 24 Hours of the Old Pueblo (OP), but if not check it out here. As I mentioned in the report, Kona hooked both Shannon and myself up with bikes for the race. Shannon rode Kona’s newest addition to their Kula 2-9 lineup––the Kula ...


Another 650B update

Another 650B update

The news on 650B continues to roll in. New tires, rims, wheels and bikes have all been announced. In our own news: The 650B Heckler (code name: Beckler) is built and rolling, and things are starting to dry up finally, so expect a real ride report soon. The White Brothers 130 thru axle fork is ...


Jamis Dragon 29 Chronicles #1

Jamis Dragon 29 Chronicles #1

This is the first in a series of posts leading up to the Dirt Rag Stuff Review of the Jamis Dragon 29. I’ll informally keep you posted not only with my experiences on the bike, but also with my indoctrination into the 29” machine. This ongoing journal is also an exercise for me to get ...


Shimano Saint: Big Air in Whistler

Shimano Saint: Big Air in Whistler

Shimano hosted press test rides on their new Saint component group in Whistler last week. Whistler Bike Park to be exact. Lift assisted downhill mountain biking, yessir. The plan? Journalists (And I use that term loosely) bring a frame, fork, shocks, and cockpit. Shimano to install the drivetrain and wheels. Well, actually, we scribes did ...


Salsa Cycles Sol Sessions First Report

Salsa Cycles Sol Sessions First Report

I had the chance to visit the Salsa Cycles HQ in Minneapolis for the unveiling and riding of Salsa’s two new full suspension bikes. The bikes were designed to have a similar ride with wheel size being the main difference. The 26er called the El Kaboing has 5 inches of rear wheel travel and the ...


Scott Bikes Get Smart: The Genius

Scott Bikes Get Smart: The Genius

The Scott Company began in Sun Valley Idaho 50 years ago with the first tapered aluminum ski pole. It was the most sophisticated pole yet created. And that continued into the bike world as well. Scott made their first mountain bike in 1986, aero bars for Greg Lemond’s Tour De France win in 1989, and ...


Interbike Commuting

Interbike Commuting

At Interbikes past, we used to travel from our digs at a weird, kind of crusty Travelodge on the Vegas Strip to the Sands convention center for the indoor portions of the show on a random assortment of borrowed bikes. Last year we wised up and borrowed some demo bikes from Raleigh and Diamondback, and ...


Masi Soulville 10

Masi Soulville 10

For those of us that regularly pedal for transportation, there’s nothing worse than being trapped someplace without a bike. Traditionally, the worst part of going to Interbike is being stuck at a bike show without a bike. Fortunately, some kind individuals from an assortment of companies allowed us to borrow their Dirt Demo bikes for ...


Under Test: Eastern Woods Research OWB29er

Under Test: Eastern Woods Research OWB29er

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll recall that Eastern Woods Research is back in business, and that they have been working on translating the handling and heritage of their 26″ OWB (Original Woods Bike) to a 29″ wheeled platform. And they’ve done it! EWR Bikes recently introduced the OWB29er. One of that first batch is ...


EWR OWB29er: First Impressions

EWR OWB29er: First Impressions

In part one of this series, I ran through the specifications on my new EWR OWB29er test bike, and posted a gallery with pictures of this unique-looking bike. At that point I hadn’t had a chance to throw a leg over my new steed, but since then, I’ve busted out a handful of solid rides ...


EWR OWB29er: How it Rides

EWR OWB29er: How it Rides

How’s it ride? That’s usually the first question somebody ask when they spy me riding a test bike for Dirt Rag. An innocent sounding question, but not an easy one to answer. Describing how a bike rides is a subjective exercise. Many variables come into play. Not the least of which are: riding style, type ...


Sneak a Peek: Yeti ASR

Sneak a Peek: Yeti ASR

One thing about time is that it sure moves fast. When I sat down to write this article, I couldn’t believe that I’ve been riding the Yeti ASR for about a month now. I meant to give a first impression of it weeks ago, but somehow time passed my by. My first ride aboard the ...


2009 Commencal Meta 6.2 First Impressions

2009 Commencal Meta 6.2 First Impressions

I was first introduced to the 2009 Commencal Meta 6 in early August, at the 2008 Winter Park Crankworx event. Unfortunately the BTI, Bicycle Technologies International, crew only had a medium size on hand. I had tried riding a their Supreme DH bike in a medium frame, but it was just too small. I was ...


EWR OWB29er: Parting Thoughts

EWR OWB29er: Parting Thoughts

Over the past few months I’ve been blogging about the EWR OWB29er test bike that I will be reviewing in Dirt Rag Issue #140—the February 15th, 2009 edition. In my prior installments I talked about the bike’s geometry and specifications, discussed my first impressions, and did my best to describe how the OWB29er rides. As ...


Under Review: 2009 Trek Top Fuel 9.8

Under Review: 2009 Trek Top Fuel 9.8

I first laid eyes on prototypes of Trek’s radically re-designed Top Fuel at last summer’s press camp.  At that time I posted this report on Trek’s racy full-suspension steed. Ever since that first encounter, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the availability of the Top Fuel production bikes. That time has come, and I just scored a ...


Web Extras for EWR OWB29er Product Review

Web Extras for EWR OWB29er Product Review

Links to web content associated with the Dirt Rag Issue #140 product review of the EWR OWB29er: Eastern Woods Research: Reloaded (interview with Jay de Jesus) Under Test: Eastern Woods Research OWB29er EWR OWB29er: First Impressions EWR OWB29er: How it Rides EWR OWB29er: Parting Thoughts Dirt Rag TV: EWR OWB 29er Test Ride.


Brain Fart: Salsa Fargo in for Test!

Brain Fart: Salsa Fargo in for Test!

Take a look at this nifty packaging.   (click on photos for larger versions) I’m sure by now most of you are familiar with the Fargo, but it’s basically a 29’er mountain bike with drop handlebars designed for adventure touring. The Fargo begs to be loaded up and paraded around the countryside with little to ...


First Impressions: Diamondback Mission 3

First Impressions: Diamondback Mission 3

All Mountain.  I think this term has grown on me. It is needed these days to describe the growing number of bikes in between freerider shuttle  bikes and cross country trail machines. The Diamondback Mission series is a good example of this new breed of do-it-all-but-race XC type bikes. Quick run down of the spec ...


Bicycle Times Reviews the Breezer Villager

Bicycle Times Reviews the Breezer Villager

The Breezer Villager was specifically designed for “relaxed rides and errands” or “sprints to the office,” and its components were thought out to provide a bike that would be “truly useful in everyday life.” It comes complete with accessories that every commuter needs right off the bat: fenders, rack, a lock system, kickstand, a plush ...


First Impressions: Specialized Epic Expert Carbon

First Impressions: Specialized Epic Expert Carbon

Specialized Epic Expert Carbon Just in time for race season, well my spotty race season anyway, a carbon form of beauty showed up for me test. The Epic Expert Carbon from Specialized is one lean and fast race machine with a FACT 9m carbon main triangle and M5 aluminum rear triangle. It has 100mm of ...


New Test Bike: Gary Fisher Roscoe Two

New Test Bike: Gary Fisher Roscoe Two

As spring rolls into summer, this season’s new test bikes are rolling into the Dirt Rag World Headquarters at a feverish pace.  Allow me to introduce my trusty steed for the next few months: Gary Fisher’s new 140mm travel Roscoe Two.  For testing purposes, we settled on the middle-of-the-road Roscoe Two which retails for $3,850, ...


Turner Sultan. Big wheels and bigger travel, intial impressions.

Turner Sultan. Big wheels and bigger travel, intial impressions.

The Turner Sultan is a 120mm travel 29er, one of the few big wheeled bikes out there sporting over 100mm of travel. I’m happy to be riding one for the beginning of the summer. My size large tester came built up with some interesting parts including a 2010 Fox F29 RLC with the 15mm QR ...


Web Extra for Dirt Rag #143: Salsa Fargo Product Review

Web Extra for Dirt Rag #143: Salsa Fargo Product Review

Justin Steiner posted the following blog entries during his testing time atop the Salsa Fargo. Brain Fart: Salsa Fargo in for Test! Fargo Update


Trek Top Fuel 9.8 Testing Update

Trek Top Fuel 9.8 Testing Update

I’ve been testing the Top Fuel 9.8, Trek’s 100mm travel full-suspension race bike, for over four months. During that time, I’ve taken the Top Fuel on a winter vacation to Florida that included a 6-hour race, made road trips to some of the most rugged and beautiful MTB trails in my home state of Pennsylvania, ...


Press Camp – A week in Sun Valley Part One: Scott Bikes

Press Camp – A week in Sun Valley Part One: Scott Bikes

Press camps have always been great places to get to know people in the bike industry, learn about their products, and decipher their company vision. The fact that they usually take place in exotic locales is not lost on the media either. But camp scheduling has been becoming time-problematic for our small staff lately, and ...


V.I.O. POV 1 Camera in Action

V.I.O. POV 1 Camera in Action

Loyal readers will recall that Adam Lipinski reviewed the V.I.O. POV 1 Camera in Dirt Rag issue #142. While Adam couldn’t show you his videos in print, he recently uploaded some helmet-cam footage to the online V.I.O. Sharing Galllery. Click on the clip below for a sample of what the V.I.O. POV 1 will do. ...


Bicycle Times Reviews Raleigh Clubman and Manhattan Green

Bicycle Times Reviews Raleigh Clubman and Manhattan Green

Issue #2 of our sister publication, Bicycle Times, is on the streets. To give readers a taste of the flavor, we’ve posted the following two bike reviews from issue #2 on the Bicycle Times website. Raleigh Clubman Eric McKeeganWhat makes a bike practical? There are plenty of ways to debate the definition of practical when ...


Press Camp: Sun Valley Part Two

Press Camp: Sun Valley Part Two

Seven half-hour appointments, each in a different condo room of the Sun Valley Resort.We’ve never been interested in regurgitating the company line when it comes to press camps. I mean, sometime there’s something interesting to report, and sometimes not.As I headed to the first of seven morning appointments on Wednesday, I wondered what I might ...


Web Extra for Dirt Rag #144: Riding the Singular Swift

Web Extra for Dirt Rag #144: Riding the Singular Swift

Here are links to two routes that David Alden rode while testing the Singular Swift for Dirt Rag issue #144: Kingdom Trails in Vermont Willowdale/Bradley Palmer in Massachusetts


Web Extra for Dirt Rag #144: Trek Top Fuel Review

Web Extra for Dirt Rag #144: Trek Top Fuel Review

Links to Karl Rosengarth’s bike testing blogs on the Trek Top Fuel 9.8. Part One Part Two


Norco 2010 Launch – Part Two: All Mountain Ride

Norco 2010 Launch – Part Two: All Mountain Ride

As our last afternoon in Vancouver neared, we headed the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area for a cross country/all mountain ride (check the map out here , if you’re interested).  Bike choice for this ride varied from the 160mm travel LT 6.1 to the new-for-2010 Judan Belt Drive, a 29″-wheeled singlespeed.  The trails of Burnaby Mountain ...


Under Test: Norco Jubei 1

Under Test: Norco Jubei 1

Who kicks the most ass, a Pirate or a Samurai? This question has been tormenting me for a while now, and I have discovered the clear winner. A 17th century rouge Samurai, sporting an eye patch, kicks the most ass. His name is Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi. Most legends are known by a single name and ...


Favorite Flavors: Jandd Mountain Wedge II

Favorite Flavors: Jandd Mountain Wedge II

Just the other day the Dirt Rag staff was sitting around the kitchen table, talking about how we need to write more about personal stuff that we like. Bike stuff, music, books, whatever. Which got me thinking about the Jandd Mountain Wedge II seat pack that I’ve been using for the last two years. Despite ...


Under Test: Pivot Mach 5

Under Test: Pivot Mach 5

chris cocalisChris Cocalis, formerly of Titus Cycles, launched Pivot Cycles, a brand focused on high-end full-suspension mountain bikes using Dave Weagle’s
Interbike 2009 Preview

Interbike 2009 Preview

Once again Interbike is nigh. The entire staff of Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times will be headed out west to the desert to cover the show from a multitude of angles. Expect social media posts, blog entries on both web sites, photo galleries and even video! So what do I expect to be hot this ...


Bicycle Times Walks the Walk… er, Rides the Ride

Bicycle Times Walks the Walk… er, Rides the Ride

We do a lot of bike commuting here at the Bicycle Times / Dirt Rag offices. Why not carry on with our riding ways while in Las Vegas for Interbike? For the third year in a row, the staff will be riding to the indoor show at the Sands Convention Center from our rental house ...


Cygolites Performed Better Than Me

Cygolites Performed Better Than Me

Labor Day weekend while many Americans were drinking beer and grilling, Shannon from the mag, a couple friends and myself participated in the 24hr race at Seven Springs near Pittsburgh. During the race I had a few grueling night laps around 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. to field-test the Cygolite Mitycross (reviewed in 145) and ...


Interbike Day Two

Interbike Day Two

We have another new Gallery up with captioned photos of the highlights of the day. Go check it out! In the course of snapping photos and gathering details, it’s inevitable that we’d also have some interesting conversations with the people behind the products. It’s sometimes tough to capture such talk, but really, that’s a big ...


Interbike Mini-Review: Civia Loring

Interbike Mini-Review: Civia Loring

During Interbike week, we borrowed a variety of bikes from companies to ride from our rental house to the indoor show, plus to parties and happenings around town after dark. Not only did this make our experience much more enjoyable, it allowed us a closer look at some of the latest offerings in the realm ...


Interbike Mini-Review: BH Gira

Interbike Mini-Review: BH Gira

During Interbike week, we borrowed a variety of bikes from companies to ride from our rental house to the indoor show, plus to parties and happenings around town after dark. Not only did this make our experience much more enjoyable, it allowed us a closer look at some of the latest offerings in the realm ...


Interbike Mini-Review: Spot Highline

Interbike Mini-Review: Spot Highline

During Interbike week, we borrowed a variety of bikes from companies to ride from our rental house to the indoor show, plus to parties and happenings around town after dark. Not only did this make our experience much more enjoyable, it allowed us a closer look at some of the latest offerings in the realm ...


Interbike Mini-Review: Dahon Speed P8

Interbike Mini-Review: Dahon Speed P8

During Interbike week, we borrowed a variety of bikes from companies to ride from our rental house to the indoor show, plus to parties and happenings around town after dark. Not only did this make our experience much more enjoyable, it allowed us a closer look at some of the latest offerings in the realm ...


Interbike Mini-Review: Fuji Cross RC

Interbike Mini-Review: Fuji Cross RC

During Interbike week, we borrowed a variety of bikes from companies to ride from our rental house to the indoor show, plus to parties and happenings around town after dark. Not only did this make our experience much more enjoyable, it allowed us a closer look at some of the latest offerings in the realm ...


Interbike Mini Review: Raleigh Alley Way

Interbike Mini Review: Raleigh Alley Way

 During Interbike week, we borrowed a variety of bikes from companies to ride from our rental house to the indoor show, plus to parties and happenings around town after dark. Not only did this make our experience much more enjoyable, it allowed us a closer look at some of the latest offerings in the realm ...


Interbike Mini-Review: Electra Ticino 18D

Interbike Mini-Review: Electra Ticino 18D

 During Interbike week, we borrowed a variety of bikes from companies to ride from our rental house to the indoor show, plus to parties and happenings around town after dark. Not only did this make our experience much more enjoyable, it allowed us a closer look at some of the latest offerings in the realm ...


Interbike Mini-Review: Currie Technologies iZip Urban Cruiser

Interbike Mini-Review: Currie Technologies iZip Urban Cruiser

During Interbike week, we borrowed a variety of bikes from companies to ride from our rental house to the indoor show, plus to parties and happenings around town after dark. Not only did this make our experience much more enjoyable, it allowed us a closer look at some of the latest offerings in the realm ...


Interbike Mini-Review: Brompton S6L

Interbike Mini-Review: Brompton S6L

During Interbike week, we borrowed a variety of bikes from companies to ride from our rental house to the indoor show, plus to parties and happenings around town after dark. Not only did this make our experience much more enjoyable, it allowed us a closer look at some of the latest offerings in the realm ...


First Impressions: Carver Killer B

First Impressions: Carver Killer B

The idea to do a long race of some sort had been kicking around in my brain for a while, and the stars aligned such that I had both a ride to the Shenandoah Mountain 100 and the time to do it this past August. The only thing I didn’t have was a test bike. ...


First Impression: Giant XTC 29er 2

First Impression: Giant XTC 29er 2

Giant’s entry into the world of twenty-nine inch wheeled bikes comes in the form of an aluminum hardtail. The XTC 29er begins with a stiff looking hydro-formed ALUXX SL tubeset with rectangular seat and chainstays, a rectangular tapered top tube, oversized tapered head tube, and hexagon-shaped down tube. It’s finished off with two 9-speed build ...


On Test: Rocky Mountain Altitude 29

On Test: Rocky Mountain Altitude 29

I almost don’t want to jinx us by talking about it, but good golly we’ve been having a nice fall, weather-wise. Best summer in recent memory too. What better way to enjoy it than a ride in the woods on a new test bike? I’ve been excited to try the Altitude 29 since it was ...


Old News: Cannondale Simon Released to Press at Interbike

Old News: Cannondale Simon Released to Press at Interbike

Been to a few press presentations, some of which have been pretty hilarious in their use of props to amuse the audience. Like when the old GT used dry ice to introduce the I-Drive suspension design in Brian Head, Utah back in 1990-something. The bike was fine but what I remember most was trying to ...


Niner’s 140mm Travel WFO 9

Niner’s 140mm Travel WFO 9

Regardless of whether you’re a creationist or evolutionist, you have to admit that we humans are pretty good at continually pushing the limits of our society, and our gadgets, in order to keep things moving forward. In a mountain bike sense, we first rode balloon-tire cruisers offroad, then came dedicated mountain bikes, followed by suspension ...


Procrastination Central: First Ride on Santa Cruz Tallboy

Procrastination Central: First Ride on Santa Cruz Tallboy

Weekly meeting after weekly meeting, I’ve been promising to get this done, but this morning our esteemed web editor said that he’s “counting on me” to write a blog and submit it today. The blog post based on my experience with the “new” Santa Cruz Tallboy. What to do? I have a few words written ...


Snowbound and Dreaming: Cannondale RZ One Twenty 3

Snowbound and Dreaming: Cannondale RZ One Twenty 3

I’m snowbound and dreaming of endless ribbons of singletrack with white-knuckle descents. My new test bike is a 2010 Cannondale RZ One Twenty 3, and as luck would have it, the east coast is buried under a couple feet of snow – and more on the way. So I’ll whet your appetite (and mine) with ...


Out of the Box and into the Snow: Gary Fisher Rumblefish

Out of the Box and into the Snow: Gary Fisher Rumblefish

Hey, you might have heard,  we are buried in snow. Just in time for my new test bike to arrive. I might have been able to get in just slightly snowy ride in before this last big storm, but a few little things kept me off the new technical trail bike from Fisher, the Rumblefish. ...


New Test Bike in the Office: 2010 Titus FTM Carbon

New Test Bike in the Office: 2010 Titus FTM Carbon

The new 2010 FTM Carbon is a beautiful looking bike.  I should know because I have spent more time admiring it from my armchair than riding it. We had a bit of snow in these parts and the trails are a tad impassable due the 22” of the white stuff getting in the way. The ...


New Test Bike: Kona Abra Cadabra

New Test Bike: Kona Abra Cadabra

Thought I’d take a quick moment to introduce my newest test rig: Kona’s new-for-2010 Abra Cadabra. The Cadabra family–Abra Cadabra retailing for $3,699, Cadabra retailing for $2,799–sports the second generation (G2) of Kona’s Magic Link rear suspension, first introduced on the 2008 CoilAir. Kona’s martketing materials certainly make the G2 Magic Link on the Cadabra ...


Frostbike: It’s always sunny in Minneapolis

Frostbike: It’s always sunny in Minneapolis

Minneapolis is always a good place to be. I’d say MPLS or minneapplepuss or whatever you wanna call it is the city with the strongest bike culture in these United States. Geno at One On One Bicycle Studio , Hurl at Car R Coffins Coffee Bar and Cykel Garage and so on, well ya can’t ...


Transition TransAm On Test

Transition TransAm On Test

When asked if I would like to throw a leg over a hardtail, single speed, all mountain bicycle from Transition I jumped at the chance. Why wouldn’t I want to hammer a bike that is carving itself a nice home in the all mountain category? Transition’s plan is to rejuvenate your biking experience to the ...


First Impressions: GT Marathon Carbon Expert

First Impressions: GT Marathon Carbon Expert

Growing up, GT was always one of those brands that was desired by all the kids ripping up the neighborhood on BMX bikes, including me. My family never had the cash for a GT, so I never got to ride around on one, until now. GT’s Marathon Carbon Expert ($3200) is my current test rig ...


All Felt Up

All Felt Up

South of the Mason Dixon, in Gilmer county Georgia, at a beautiful Sliding Rock cabin near Ellijay – I’m reminiscing on a couple fantastic days at the Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Get-A-Way. I’ve been very fortunate the past few days because I’ve met some fantastic people, done some amazing rides and have gotten to put ...


Niner Carbon Fork: Matt’s Impressions

Niner Carbon Fork: Matt’s Impressions

Note: Niner was gracious enough to send us two of their new carbon forks to test. Eric McKeegan got one, and his review is in issue #148. Matt Kasprzyk put the other on his Niner bike – here is his take on the fork. This is the first rigid fork I’ve used and it’s also ...


Massanutten Yee-Ha! – Gravity East Series, Race #1

Massanutten Yee-Ha! – Gravity East Series, Race #1

As with anything else, we all have strong and weak aspects of our riding skills. Some of us are climbers, and some are downhillers. In an XC sense, my skill set has always leaned toward descending. As such, I’ve always wanted to try my hand at downhill racing, and fortunately I was able to do ...


Stuff Preview: 32 TALAS 29 FIT Terralogic

Stuff Preview: 32 TALAS 29 FIT Terralogic

In an effort to give you some insight into the products we plan to send through our rigorous testing process here at Dirt Rag, we’ve come up with the Stuff Preview series. Each Friday, we’ll present one product that is currently in the hands of one of our testing staff. We’ll post a photo of ...


Stuff Preview: Clarks Skeletal Hydraulic Brakes

Stuff Preview: Clarks Skeletal Hydraulic Brakes

In an effort to give you some insight into the products we plan to send through our rigorous testing process here at Dirt Rag, we’ve come up with the Stuff Preview series. Each Friday, we’ll present one product that is currently in the hands of one of our testing staff. We’ll post a photo of ...


First Impressions: Commencal Supreme

First Impressions: Commencal Supreme

Dirt Rag readers, meet the Commencal Supreme, little brother of the Supreme DH I raced a couple of weeks ago.  This coil sprung 6″ travel bike is designed to be a highly versatile bike for burly riding—it will be a riot at your local gravity park, but is light and capable enough to pedal around, ...


Product Launch: Pivot Phoenix DH Race Bike

Product Launch: Pivot Phoenix DH Race Bike

This past week was yet another moment in my “work” career where I had to pinch myself, hoping I didn’t wake up to discover my dream was not reality. Fortunately, I really did make the trip to Moab, Utah to ride the latest and greatest from Pivot. Those of you who live under a rock ...


Stuff Preview: RockShox Revelation Race Dual Air

Stuff Preview: RockShox Revelation Race Dual Air

In an effort to give you some insight into the products we plan to send through our rigorous testing process here at Dirt Rag, we’ve come up with the Stuff Preview series. Each Friday, we’ll present one product that is currently in the hands of one of our testing staff. We’ll post a photo of ...


First Impressions: Mongoose Canaan Comp

First Impressions: Mongoose Canaan Comp

Sometimes in the life of a test bike, things start out slowly, and the new wheels get eased into their new role. But some bikes get “tested” to their limits right off the bat. This latest specimen, a Mongoose Canaan Comp, has already been put through some difficult tribulations but has come out just fine. ...


First Impressions: Santa Cruz Nickel

First Impressions: Santa Cruz Nickel

Timing is everything, and I was lucky enough to pick up my new test bike, the all new Santa Cruz Nickel, just a couple days before heading out to Dirt Rag‘s Dirt Fest at the Allegrippis Trails in Hesston, PA. These super-fun and flowy trails were a great place to get the Nickel dialed in and to get a taste of what’s in store over the next few weeks of the test.


Product Launch: Magura’s 2010 Press Camp in Sedona, AZ

Product Launch: Magura’s 2010 Press Camp in Sedona, AZ

Nearly four years ago, I cut my press camp teeth on a trip to Sedona, Arizona to ride with the great people of Magura and left with friendships that last to this day. Helping to close out this past action packed May, I returned to the Magura press camp to ride some of the best ...


Stuff Preview: Shimano Deore XT Pedals

Stuff Preview: Shimano Deore XT Pedals

In an effort to give you some insight into the products we plan to send through our rigorous testing process here at Dirt Rag, we’ve come up with the Stuff Preview series. Each Friday, we’ll present one product that is currently in the hands of one of our testing staff. We’ll post a photo of ...


Stuff Preview: Avid Elixr 3 Brakes

Stuff Preview: Avid Elixr 3 Brakes

In an effort to give you some insight into the products we plan to send through our rigorous testing process here at Dirt Rag, we’ve come up with the Stuff Preview series. Each week, we’ll present one product that is currently in the hands of one of our testing staff. We’ll post a photo of ...


Anatomy of a Crash

Anatomy of a Crash

After a good 14 years of mountain biking, I finally earned my wings on a perfect summer day. The car was packed, and I was ready for the thrill of downhill riding at Seven Springs Mountain. As I pulled onto the interstate, I could hear my phone ringing. It was my wife, Maggie. Thinking I ...


Stuff Preview: North Face Spatter Jacket

Stuff Preview: North Face Spatter Jacket

In an effort to give you some insight into the products we plan to send through our rigorous testing process here at Dirt Rag, we’ve come up with the Stuff Preview series. Each week, we’ll present one product that is currently in the hands of one of our testing staff. We’ll post a photo of ...


Bikepacking 2010

Bikepacking 2010

Bikepacking Trip – May 6-8, 2010 For our roundup of bikepacking gear in issue #150, Justin, Karl, Frank and Karen headed out for a 2.5-day journey around the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, for a proper testing session. Conveniently, Frank lives in that area, so we set out from his cabin in the woods near Seven ...


Under Test: Ellsworth Enlightenment 29

Under Test: Ellsworth Enlightenment 29

The first detail everyone notices on the Ellsworth Enlightenment 29 is of course the frame shape. Swoopy with clean lines, plenty of standover clearance, and subtle, yet tasteful graphics placed sparingly on the glossy-black, carbon fiber frame. Take a closer look, and the detail in craftsmanship only gets better. The integrated headset compliments the internal ...


Stuff Preview: Shimano SPD Sneakers

Stuff Preview: Shimano SPD Sneakers

In an effort to give you some insight into the products we plan to send through our rigorous testing process here at Dirt Rag, we’ve come up with the Stuff Preview series. Each week, we’ll present one product that is currently in the hands of one of our testing staff. We’ll post a photo of ...


Stuff Preview: Giro Remedy CF Helmet

Stuff Preview: Giro Remedy CF Helmet

In an effort to give you some insight into the products we plan to send through our rigorous testing process here at Dirt Rag, we’ve come up with the Stuff Preview series. Each week, we’ll present one product that is currently in the hands of one of our testing staff. We’ll post a photo of ...




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